Matt Shoemaker has a solid 3.18 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 22 2/3 total innings this season, but he yielded eight hits and three runs over five frames in a loss Saturday night to the Royals and so the Angels are going to try something different this week.
Pedro Moura of the Orange County Register reports that Shoemaker has been optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake, with 29-year-old lefty Wade LeBlanc joining the rotation in a corresponding roster move.
LeBlanc had allowed just two runs in 20 innings over his last three starts at the Triple-A level. He posted a 5.40 ERA in 55 innings (seven starts, 10 relief appearances) last year between the Astros and Marlins.
If this experiment doesn’t work out, the Angels will probably turn right back to Shoemaker.
At least six teams are interested in free agent shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, according to a recent report from Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Known suitors include the Cubs, who will reportedly be in attendance during one of the shortstop’s offseason workouts as they decide whether or not to press forward with a deal.
The Blue Jays released Tulowitzki on Tuesday as general manager Ross Atkins admitted he couldn’t rely on the 34-year-old to bounce back from season-ending bone spur removal surgery and be the kind of consistent presence the club needed going forward. Toronto is expected to absorb the remaining $38 million on Tulowitzki’s contract, which includes the $20 million he’s due in 2019, another $14 million in 2020 and a $4 million buyout in 2021.
The veteran slugger will be available to any interested team at a minimum $600,000, an undeniably attractive bargain if he recovers in advance of the 2019 season. He last appeared in the majors in 2017 and slashed .249/.300/.378 with 17 extra-base hits and a .678 OPS through 260 PA. Per Slusser, Tulowitzki appears to be angling for a job with the Athletics — even going so far as to say he’d be willing to switch positions in order to play for a winning team — though they have yet to reach out about a potential deal this winter.