Angels Insiders: Shoe, Bullpen Depth

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We’re entering the third week of the 2016 season and the Angels are 8-11. Another slow start, and fans are hoping their club can overcome it again. One of the culprits of this slow start is Matt Shoemaker. The Bearded One has had a strange season so far, with two excellent starts and two terrible starts in between. It’s been back and forth for the righty so far. With Tyler Skaggs almost ready to return, and with a good performance from the Halos starting rotation as a whole, Shoe could find his way into the bullpen soon. But that’s not a bad thing. Matt has had success as a long reliever with the Angels. And that may be the role he is best suited for. Here’s more on Shoemaker and other things happening in Anaheim:

  • Shoemaker’s start on Sunday was actually an uncharacteristic outing. He threw a lot of balls, which is something he doesn’t do very often, even when he’s struggling. Shoe had a career BB/9 of just 2.0 for his career coming into this season. What ballooned his ERA in 2015, from his 3.04 in 2014, was allowing 24 home runs in 24 starts. His splitter was up. In ’14 it was down. And looks like it’s still up. That’s basically all Shoe needs to do to get back on track. Keep the splitter down and avoid the long ball.
  • Some grumbling a have been going around about sending Jose Alvarez down for Neal Cotts. In case you didn’t remember, the Halos signed Cotts on April 7. And although it’s early, Alvarez has a 5.79 ERA in just 9 1/3 innings. But Small sample, yes. However, no bullpen looks the same in August as it did in April. And Jose may be one of the first to go. As we speak, Cotts has a 1.46 ERA in 6 1/3 innings.
  • That’s not all. Al Albuquerque and Javy Guerra both have ERA’s under 2.00 at AAA Salt Lake. Something to look into soon. The way things are going right now, we could see Alvarez and Fernando Salas replaced by any combination of those three. And if anyone else struggles, we could see all three in the Halos bullpen soon.
  • And if anyone is wondering why the Angels have the relievers they have with those three veterans in the minors, well it was basically a case of letting guys like Cory Rasmus and Mike Morin bounce back from their injuries and seeing what they can do. The Halos basically threw them a bone. But they’re not on a very tight leash.