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Matt Shoemaker: 2016 Angels Pitcher of the Year?

Chicago White Sox v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Today is Matt Shoemaker day...or rather, today is Matt Shoemaker’s birthday, so what better time to show some love to the bearded pitching maestro? Shoemaker had an insanely rough start to the 2016 season, statistically speaking, and he had an even rougher END to his 2016 season, getting-hit-in-head-with-line-drive-and-sent-to-the-hospital speaking.

Yes, Shoemaker suffered that horrific liner to the head on September 4th, which not only put him in the hospital for a few days due to a skull fracture and internal bleeding/swelling, but it also put a halt to his 2016 baseball activities. The good news? He’s healing up and should be ready to go for 2017, where he’ll most certainly be called upon to fill out an already-depleted starting rotation.

What can we expect to see from The Cobbler next year? Well, that’s tough to say exactly, considering the different levels of pitching we’ve seen from him, but here’s what he did this season :

-led all of Angels pitching in fWAR (3.3)

-led all Angels starters in xFIP (3.86)

-had the lowest Angels starter ERA (3.88)

-was second to only Jered Weaver in innings pitched and games started

Now, that last one is the x-factor here, because in a lot of these categories, most of the Angels’ arms didn’t even get enough innings to qualify, which is a testament to just how injury-plagued this team was. Literally the only pitchers that got in a full year’s worth of work for the Halos are Jered Weaver and Matt Shoemaker, and even those two had their injury hiccups.

Still, I think it’s safe to say Matt Shoemaker had a pretty great season on the field, and we will see him in an Angels uniform next year. Those two facts make me deliriously happy, but this isn’t about me. This is about the birthday boy, Matt Shoemaker.

Rest up, Cobbler, get well, and be ready to do it all again next season. Oh, and Happy Birthday!