Matt Shoemaker plays long toss, could throw from mound Sunday

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Angels starter Matt Shoemaker continues to make progress from a left oblique strain. Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times reports that the right-hander long-tossed from 180-200 feet on Saturday afternoon with no restrictions. Per Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, Shoemaker said he still felt some tightness, but it’s almost gone.

Shoemaker could throw from a mound on Sunday, which would be the next step as he attempts to rejoin the Angels for the ALDS against the winner of the Wild Card play-in game.

Shoemaker, celebrating his 28th birthday today, has been a pleasant surprise for the Angels, as he ends the regular season with a 16-4 record, a 3.04 ERA, and a 124/24 K/BB ratio in 136 innings over 20 starts and seven relief appearances. If he’s able to join the Angels in the ALDS, he would slot in behind Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson.

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”