Toronto Blue Jays 2020 Report Cards: Matt Shoemaker

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ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 4: Matt Shoemaker #34 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches during a game against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park on August 4, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 4: Matt Shoemaker #34 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches during a game against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park on August 4, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /
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Jays Journal contributors will be examining the report cards for the Toronto Blue Jays based on how each player performed this year. In this edition, we take a look at Matt Shoemaker.

While not always, normally in Game 1 of any playoff series you hand the ball to your team ace to aim to open with a 1-0 lead. The ace of the Toronto Blue Jays is Hyun Jin Ryu, who many fans expected to see pitch the first game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

That didn’t turn out to be the case, as it was Matt Shoemaker who got the ball in the opening game of the playoffs, and who only threw 35 pitches over three innings.

During the regular season, Shoemaker only made six starts going 0-1 with a 4.71 ERA but limited opponents to a good .210 average.

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Shoemaker’s arsenal

Shoemaker has five pitches at his disposal which he uses pretty evenly. He has a split finger (32.5%), sinker (25.6%), fastball (18.6%), slider (18.4%) and curveball (4.9%).

By looking at charts, his curveball almost always landed on the left side of the plate, and he used all 22 pitches thrown to left-handed batters without giving up a single hit.

He used his fastball mostly against lefties, while his slider was utilized mostly against righties. He did fairly well with limiting hits when he threw those pitches.

He got some luck when throwing his split finger. He gave up hits at a .143 clip but with an expected batting average (XBA) of .224. When he utilized his sinker, he struggled giving up hits at a clip of .340 with a slugging percentage of .815.

Split stats

As Shoemaker made six starts, three of them were during the day and the other three at night. He did better pitching under the sun posting a 3.38 ERA with 17 strikeouts and an opponent average of .164.

In the dark, a 6.39 ERA with more hits given up (13) than strikeouts (nine). He also pitched better on turf (two starts) than a grass diamond (four starts).

Grade

Shoemaker didn’t pitch that much this season, which makes it hard to grade. In his short sample size, he was able to limit the hits but had a bit of a high ERA. His high ERA comes from trouble with limiting the long ball, as he gave up eight home runs in 28.2 innings after giving up three in 2019 in the exact same amount of innings pitched.

Is there room for a reclamation project in 2021?. dark. Next

Shoemaker is now a free agent. Would you bring him back?

Final grade: C-

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