Matt Shoemaker pitched just 31 innings last season and 108.2 over the past two year due to re-occurring forearm issues. Six of his seven starts last year came in September, and he only had one start allowing more than three runs. Shoemaker had a respectable campaign as a rookie in 2014 where he finished second in AL rookie of the year voting, but had some difficulties building off that season due largely to time spent on the DL.
He took a step back in 2015 before another mediocre season in 2016, pitching 135+ innings both. The Blue Jays hope he can get back to that form again as they, and Shoemaker himself, would be satisfied with 150 innings from Michigan native.
Shoemaker doesn’t overpower you with his fastball sitting in the low 90’s, and isn’t quite a ground ball pitcher, but he has excellent command and control of his pitches. That’s how he’s remained effective and he’s attacked hitters over his career as shown by his consistently low walk rate.
The 32-year-old enters the campaign with a career ERA just under four and after spending his entire career with the Angels, is hoping for a fresh start in the Great White North.
He signed a one-year deal with the Jays in December and is under team control through next season, meaning a bounce back campaign could find him back in a rotation that may get even younger after this season. He’s a bit of a gamble after missing struggling to stay healthy, but it should be one well worth taking, especially for just 3.5 million dollars guaranteed.