Matt Shoemaker

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Matthew David Shoemaker (born September 27, 1986) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels of Major League Baseball (MLB). Prior to beginning his professional career, he played college baseball at Eastern Michigan University (EMU). Shoemaker has also competed for the United States national baseball team.

After completing his degree at EMU, Shoemaker went unselected in the 2008 MLB Draft. He signed with the Angels as a free agent, and pitched in Minor League Baseball through 2013, when he made his MLB debut. Shoemaker was named the American League (AL) Rookie of the Month and Pitcher of the Month in August 2014, and he finished second in AL Rookie of the Year Award voting after the season.

Amateur career

Shoemaker attended Trenton High School in Trenton, Michigan, graduating in 2004. [10] He then enrolled at Eastern Michigan University (EMU), where he played college baseball for the Eastern Michigan Eagles baseball team in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's (NCAA) Division I. In 2007, as a sophomore, he saved 14 games for EMU, and was named to the All-MAC's second team. [11] He tied for fifth in NCAA Division I in saves, setting the EMU single-season record in the process. [11] [12] He moved back to the rotation in 2008, his junior season. [13] As a junior, Shoemaker pitched to a 6-7 win–loss record with a 4.83 earned run average in 15 games pitched. He graduated from EMU after his junior year, forgoing his final year of college eligibility. [12]

Shoemaker played for the United States national baseball team in the 2011 Baseball World Cup and 2011 Pan American Games, [14] winning the silver medal. [15]

Professional career

Minor Leagues

In the 2008 Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft, Shoemaker went unselected. [12] He played collegiate summer baseball in the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League, [13] where he was scouted and signed as a free agent by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. [16] He received a $10,000 signing bonus. [17] Shoemaker began the 2009 season with the Cedar Rapids Kernals of the Class A Midwest League as a relief pitcher. After pitching to a 1-0 record and a 6.57 ERA in his first seven games, they demoted him to extended spring training in May. [18] He returned to Cedar Rapids in June. [10] He pitched for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes of the Class A-Advanced California League in 2010.

Shoemaker began the 2011 season with the Salt Lake Bees of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League, and was demoted to the Arkansas Travelers of the Class AA Texas League in May. [10] He appeared in the Texas League All-Star Game in June. [10] He was named the Texas League Pitcher of the Year and the Angels' Minor League Pitcher of the Year, after leading the league with 12 wins, a 2.21 ERA, and 1.03 walks plus hits per inning pitched. [12] [14] [10]

The Angels invited Shoemaker to spring training with the Angels in 2012, receiving an opportunity to compete for the open fifth starter role for the Angels. [10] He pitched for Salt Lake during the 2012 and 2013 seasons. [10] [10] On September 15, 2013, the Angels promoted Shoemaker to the major leagues. [10]

Los Angeles Angels

He made his MLB debut on September 20, allowing no runs and striking out five batters to record a win. [12]

Shoemaker made the Angels' 2014 Opening Day roster as a relief pitcher. [12] He earned a spot in the Angels' starting rotation during the season. [10] Shoemaker won the American League (AL) Rookie of the Month and Pitcher of the Month Awards. [10] On September 10, 2014, Shoemaker earned his 15th win – a new Angels' rookie record. [29] He suffered a strained rib cage the next week, [30] and recovered in time for the MLB postseason. [31] Shoemaker finished the season with a 16-4 record with 124 strikeouts in 136 innings pitched. [32] He took second place, behind José Abreu, in AL Rookie of the Year Award voting. [33] After the season, Shoemaker appeared in the 2014 Major League Baseball Japan All-Star Series, getting the win in a game against the Japanese All-Star team. [34]

After his solid 2014 season, Shoemaker opened 2015 as the Angels #3 starter. He experienced inconsistency throughout the 2015 campaign, leading to his demotion to Triple-A Salt Lake on August 16. [35] He was called up when rosters expanded in September. Shoemaker finished 7-10 with a 4.46 ERA in 24 starts. Shoemaker began the 2016 season in the Angels rotation but after posting an ERA of 9.15 in 5 starts, the Angels sent him down to AAA. He was called up a week later after an injury to Garrett Richards.

On September 4, 2016, against the Seattle Mariners, Shoemaker was struck in the head by a 105 mph line drive and left the game. The impact left Shoemaker with a small skull fracture and small hematoma. The injury eventually ended his 2016 season. The same night, he underwent surgery on his skull to stop the bleeding.

Shoemaker's 2017 season was cut short again due to injury. He pitched in 14 starts with a 6-3 record.

Personal life

Shoemaker and his wife, Danielle, have been married since 2009. [12] They have a bulldog named Samson. [17]

In January 2015, Matt and Danielle welcomed their first child.

Shoemaker has a full beard. [36] The Arkansas Travelers commemorated Shoemaker's beard with a T-shirt [37] and with a removable goatee. [38]

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