Angels’ right-hander Matt Shoemaker has already missed 51 days with a nagging forearm injury, and now he appears to be weighing season-ending surgery to fix the problem for good. The 30-year-old was tossing a bullpen session on Friday when he “felt something,” reports the Los Angeles Times’ Pedro Moura, and started to consider the possibility of surgery after consulting with a team doctor. The recovery process falls right around two months, which would keep Shoemaker off the mound for the remainder of the regular season and, depending on the outcome of the AL wild card race, potentially prevent him from pitching again until spring training.
The Angels’ righty initially sustained a right forearm strain following an outing against the Yankees in June, and experienced a setback in his rehab process after he was diagnosed with posterior interosseous nerve syndrome in early July. This isn’t his first run-in with a major injury; he was sidelined through the last month of the 2016 season after suffering a skull fracture and hematoma on a wayward line drive. Through 77 2/3 innings in 2017, he’s 6-3 with a 4.52 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 in 14 starts.
It’s a serious blow to the Angels’ rotation, albeit not one that necessarily puts them out of postseason contention. Left-hander Tyler Skaggs (oblique strain) is scheduled to return from the disabled list to start against the Athletics on Saturday, while Andrew Bailey (shoulder inflammation) and Andrew Heaney (Tommy John surgery) began Triple-A rehab assignments this week and Garrett Richards (biceps strain) threw a 20-pitch bullpen on Friday, though he’s not a sure bet to return to the club’s pitching staff this season.
Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Major League Baseball has told Cardinals infielder Kolten Wong that he has to get rid of the colorful arm sleeve he’s been wearing, pictured above, that pays tribute to his native Hawaii and seeks to raise awareness of recovery efforts from the destruction caused by the erupting Mount Kilauea.
[Wong] has been notified by Major League Baseball that he will face a fine if he continues to wear an unapproved sleeve that features Hawaiian emblem. Wong said he will stash the sleeve, like Jose Martinez had to do with his Venezuelan-flag sleeve, and find other ways to call attention to his home island.
None of these guys are being singled out, it seems. Rather, this is all part of a wider sweep Major League Baseball is making with respect to the uniformity of uniforms. As Goold notes at the end of his piece, however, MLB has no problem whatsoever with players wearing a non-uniform article of underclothing as long as it’s from an MLB corporate sponsor. Such as this sleeve worn by Marcell Ozuna, and supplied by Nike that, last I checked, were not in keeping with the traditional St. Louis Cardinals livery:
If Nike was trying to get people to buy Hawaii or Venezuela compression sleeves, I’m sure there would be no issue here. They’re not, however, and it seems like creating awareness and support for people suffering from natural, political and humanitarian disasters do not impress the powers that be nearly as much.