Angels’ right-hander Matt Shoemaker hit another bump in the road to recovery this week and is facing a shutdown period of 7-10 days after team doctors diagnosed him with posterior interosseous nerve syndrome in his right forearm. He was treated with a cortisone shot on Thursday and officially recalled from his rehab assignment in High-A Inland Empire, per a team announcement on Friday.
Shoemaker, 30, is currently serving his fifth run with the Angels. He was initially placed on the 10-day disabled list in mid-June with a right forearm strain and was expected back in the Angels’ rotation sometime after the All-Star break. Prior to his setback, he was riding a 6-3 record through 14 starts, with a 4.52 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over his first 77 2/3 innings of the year.
While Shoemaker’s first rehab start looked promising, incurring only two hits and striking out five batters in three scoreless innings, the righty felt discomfort in his pitching arm following the outing. According to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, he likely won’t rejoin the team for another 3-4 weeks, putting his estimated return date somewhere around the beginning of August.
Some good news for the Nationals today: All-Star hurler Max Scherzer is due back from the injured list this week, this time (hopefully) for good. He’s slated to start during Thursday’s series finale against the Pirates.
It’s been a long road back for the right-hander, who earned his seventh consecutive All-Star designation after heading into the break with a 2.30 ERA, 5.6 fWAR, and a league-leading 7.56 SO/BB rate. An untimely back injury forced him to the injured list in the days leading up to the All-Star Game, however, and he hasn’t returned in any kind of part-time or full-time capacity since.
While Scherzer was originally expected to pitch for the Nationals sometime during their weekend series versus the Brewers, manager Dave Martinez elected to push back his return date by a few days. It’s not clear whether he felt some lingering pain during his 64-pitch simulated start on Saturday or whether the Nationals simply want to play it safe with their ace, but either way, the club apparently feels like Scherzer will be back to full strength before the end of the week.
If so, his return would be a significant asset to the Nationals, who could use a sub-3.00 ERA, 5.0-fWAR starter to help bolster their standing in the NL East. Still, there’s no guarantee that the veteran righty is ready to shoulder a full-time role in Washington’s rotation, nor is it certain that he’ll be able to match his results from the first half of the season. In one start between IL stints last month, he dealt five innings of three-run, two-walk, eight-strikeout ball in an 8-7 loss to the Rockies.