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Better know your Blue Jays 40-man: Matt Shoemaker

MLB: Spring Training-Atlanta Braves at Toronto Blue Jays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jays signed Matt Shoemaker to a 1-year contract, back at the end of December. He’ll be making $3.3 million this year. He is arbitration eligible next year, so this might not be a one and done thing, we could keep him for next year.

He is 32 now. He’s pitched 6 seasons in the majors with a 3.93 ERA in 101 games, 93 starts. His best season was his rookie year, 3.04 ERA in 27 games, 20 starts. He’s always had good control 5.7% walk rate, but has given up more homers than you would like.

Why was he willing to sign a 1-year deal? Mostly he’s had some injury troubles over the last 3 seasons:

  • 2016, Matt’s season ended when a line drive hit him in the head, fracturing his skull and giving him a ‘small hematoma’ (in my experience, a small hematoma means it happened to someone else, if he happens to you, there is no such thing as a small one).
  • In 2017 and 2018 he had forearm injuries. In 2018 he had surgery early in the season.

The good news is he finished 2018 healthy, making 6 start in September, pitching 25.1 innings, with a 4.97 ERA. He allowed 25 hits, 6 walks and 29 strikeouts.

FanGraphs show that he threw six different pitches last year. Fastball (averaging 92), splitter, sinker, change, slider and curve.

What will he do this year?

PECOTA has him making 16 starts, 91 innings with a 4.17 ERA, Considering the past three years, I can understand why they would be conservative on innings, but the ERA looks pretty good.

This spring he’s made 5 starts, thrown 18 innings with a 5.00 ERA. He’s allowed 12 hits (5 of them home runs), 8 walks with 20 strikeouts. He’s had good moments and bad moments. Too many bad moments for my liking. We are going to have to live with the home runs, but I’m hoping we don’t have to live with one every four innings.

Beards seem very popular among MLB players. My wife would leave me if I tried to grow a beard like Shoemakers’s.


If the over/under on Shoemaker’s innings is 140 I’d take the

This poll is closed

  • 33%
    (62 votes)
  • 66%
    (123 votes)
185 votes total Vote Now


If the over/under on Shoemaker’s ERA in 4.20 I’d take the

This poll is closed

  • 59%
    (109 votes)
  • 40%
    (75 votes)
184 votes total Vote Now