After suffering a 4 day break in baseball for COVID 19 precautions, I had been looking forward to Tuesday night. It seems that the Twins while having a great cohesion had issues since day one. The Twins have played through Donaldson’s day 1 injury, missing Buck due to a stomach virus (jury is still out on that one) and Simmons stepping out for COVID protocol on April 14th, but the one thing the Twins still cannot seem to play through is their pitching. The double headers, late nights and early games gassed out our pitching to the point where Willians Astudillo would step into the pitching line up - in an already losing game - to the Angels showing his skills and fast pitch form to the MLB.
Matt Shoemaker, a pitcher the Twins acquired in February 2021, was an all-star in his own right when he played in 2014 as a rookie. As reported by Do-Hyoung Park, Shoemaker has been struggling with an onslaught of injuries since 2017 and has been continuing to fall further down after 2019 when he tore his ACL. The Twins, fully expecting him to be healthy and the No. 4 contributor to the rotation, spent 2 million dollars on the 34 year old right hander, who barely had played any games since 2017.
Shoemaker has only pitched in 2 games thus far for the Twins and neither were truly magical or anything that showed promise. His first game on the road in Detroit, where he pitched six innings and only one run got let in the 5th in the 22 batters he saw. He would take home the win in that game. In the next game against Seattle, he would pitch 5 innings and give up 4 runs and 7 hits leaving the game with an ERA of 4.09. The longer he stayed in the more damage that got done.
Tonight, after sitting out for 9 days, the RHP would once again take the mound against the A’s. The Oakland A’s are barely over .500 - a game that could have been our first W on the road since April 7th against the Tigers - and get us back on track for what started out as looking like a winning season. Shoemaker came out and pitched 3.1 innings and in that time allowed two runs and had 67 pitches before Alcala came in as the relief pitcher in the 4th. The Twins would fall 7-0 in game one of a double header after a grand slam served up by Alcala, accompanied by the runners left on base from when Shoemaker was on the mound. Not the start to the night the team and the fans were looking forward to.
In his first three games Shoemaker has continued to slide down hill. It may be just acclimating to the team, maybe it’s the 9 day rest...but the trend is showing that once again, the Twins took a chance on an arm that isn’t truly benefiting the roster and is leaving us with leaning on other utility players like Astudillo to come in and give us the outs we need. This “Shoe” just may not be the right fit.