Angels starter Matt Shoemaker burst onto the scene in 2014 with a 3.04 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and 124/24 K/BB ratio in 136 innings, but his past minor league numbers suggested he was pitching way over his head and that idea has proven accurate in 2015.
Shoemaker was officially optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake on Sunday after allowing six earned runs over just 1 2/3 innings Saturday in a loss to the Royals. The 28-year-old right-hander has a rough 4.76 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and 105/30 K/BB ratio in 117 1/3 total frames this season at the major league level.
His regression has been a pain for the Halos, who currently trail the Astros by 2 1/2 games in the AL West standings. Anaheim does have a slight hold on the second AL Wild Card spot.
Robert Murray and MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reported earlier, respectively, that the Phillies signed pitcher Francisco Liriano and infielder Neil Walker to minor league contracts. If he makes the major league roster, Liriano will earn a salary of $1.5 million with an additional $1.25 million available through performance incentives. Walker’s contract information is not yet known.
Liriano, 36, struggled from 2016-18 but enjoyed a productive year out of the bullpen for the Pirates this past season. He posted a 3.47 ERA with 63 strikeouts and 35 walks over 70 innings. The lefty was quite effective against same-handed batters, limiting fellow lefties to a .659 OPS. That would figure to be a key component if Liriano makes the Phillies’ Opening Day roster.
Walker, 34, hit .261/.344/.395 with eight home runs and 38 RBI over 381 plate appearances with the Marlins last year. The veteran is versastile, having played first, second, and third base along with both corner outfield spots in recent seasons. Despite Walker’s versatility, it is tough to see room on the Phillies’ roster for him, barring injuries to other players. It never hurts to have depth.