Matt Shoemaker’s recovery from a forearm strain has stalled. Hopeful as of Wednesday that the right-hander could start Sunday at Boston, the Angels on Thursday sent Shoemaker back to Orange County for further evaluation and additional testing by team doctors.
“I think it’s moving in the right direction,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “But, we want to make sure that they’re not missing anything.”
Scioscia said that rookie right-hander Parker Bridwell would draw Sunday’s start, the 25-year-old’s third spot start of the season.
The Angels also revealed, for the first time, that Shoemaker underwent an MRI examination Saturday night, the results of which demonstrated no structural damage in the area. As of Saturday afternoon, Scioscia and Shoemaker had said there were no plans to have an MRI exam.
Shoemaker played catch on Tuesday and Wednesday in New York, first from 90 feet and then 120, testing the strained extensor muscles to ascertain if the pain would go away and allow him to throw a bullpen session Friday.
“I can make myself feel it,” he said Tuesday. “But, obviously, the medical, training staff, they’re saying, ‘Hey, stop picking at it. Stop trying to feel it to see if it’s gone.’ That’s why we’re going into this with the light 90-foot catch. ‘You don’t feel it? OK, let’s go more and longer.’”
Shoemaker, 30, has a 4.52 earned-run average in 14 starts. He suffered a forearm strain two years ago, but he said that injury was in a different part of the muscle. Club physicians have repeatedly assured him that the current strain is not related to his elbow, as forearm injuries often are.
The Angels activated Huston Street from the disabled list. The longtime closer had been sidelined for more than three months, first because of a lat strain suffered during spring training and then because of corresponding complications.
He also spent August and September on the disabled list after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. So, it has been nearly 11 months since he last pitched in a major league game or traveled with his teammates.
“You do appreciate it, a lot,” Street said of being back with his teammates. “When you rehab for as long as I did, last year and this year, you get a real sense for the minor leagues.”
Street, 33, will be a free agent at year’s end unless the Angels exercise their $10 million team option for 2018. He has spent almost all of his career as his club’s closer, but he will not handle that role right away for the Angels.
The Angels demoted right-hander Mike Morin to triple-A Salt Lake to create space for Street. Morin has shuffled back and forth several times this season. … Scioscia said that right-hander Bud Norris, on the disabled list because of an inflamed right knee, is slated to begin throwing this weekend. He’s eligible to be activated at month’s end.