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Twins outright Matt Shoemaker to Triple-A

MLB Trade Rumors
MLB Trade Rumors
 2021-07-05
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Matt Shoemaker cleared waivers Monday and accepted his assignment to Triple-A St. Paul. Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Twins right-hander Matt Shoemaker has cleared outright waivers and accepted an assignment to Triple-A St. Paul, reports Dan Hayes of the Athletic (Twitter link). Minnesota designated him for assignment last week.

The Twins signed Shoemaker to a one-year, $2 million deal over the winter in the hope he’d stabilize the back of the rotation. That’s not how things have played out, however, as Shoemaker has been one of the least effective pitchers in the league this season. The 34-year-old has taken the ball 16 times (including 11 starts), but the results haven’t been there. Shoemaker has been tagged for an 8.06 ERA/5.37 SIERA across 60 1/3 innings. He has struck out just 14.1% of batters faced — by far the worst mark of his career — and he’s given up 15 home runs. It’s the second consecutive season in which Shoemaker has given up more than two longballs per nine innings pitched, an untenable mark.

Nevertheless, there’s little harm for the Twins in giving Shoemaker a chance to try to work things out in Triple-A. Before 2020, he’d carved out a nice career as a solid back-of-the-rotation arm when healthy. His velocity is still in line with its range from recent seasons. Despite Shoemaker's lack of strikeouts, his 10.3% swinging strike rate is only a little worse than league average.

As a player with more than six years of major-league service, Shoemaker had the right to refuse a minor-league assignment while still collecting the rest of his guaranteed salary. He’s instead decided to stick around in the Twins system and hope to pitch his way back to Target Field before the end of the season.

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