Blue Jays Pitcher Injury, Matt Shoemaker



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OAKLAND – Right-handed Matt Shoemaker, the first Toronto Blue Jays pitching pitcher this season, sprained his left knee in Saturday's 10-1 win over the Oakland A's.
"I hope it's not that bad," said Charie Montoyo, manager of the Blue Jays, who strives to stay

OAKLAND – Right-handed Matt Shoemaker, the best pitcher from the Toronto Blue Jays this season, sprained his left knee in Saturday's 10-1 win against the Oakland A and will undergo an MRI to determine the extent of the injury.

"I hope it is not so bad," said Charie Montoyo, head of the Blue Jays, hoping to remain optimistic.

Toronto right-handed Sam Gaviglio, who relieved Shoemaker and eliminated five out of four perfect innings, would likely replace Shoemaker in the team's home rotation if a replacement became necessary. Gaviglio admitted that "it would be a very big loss" if Shoemaker, 3-0 with a 1.57 ERA in five starts, was to be away for an extended period. Gaviglio added, "He has been strong at every exit."

Shoemaker cleared Oakland for three innings and seemed to make his life easier by trapping Matt Chapman from the first goal with a shoot-off. But the Blue Jays could not fix Chapman as quickly as they wanted, which prompted Shoemaker to join the defensemen in the countdown. Shoemaker has crafted the end-of-run mark, but in doing so, his left leg is either buckled or planted in soft ground.

Montoyo acknowledged that Shoemaker had violated a fundamental rule by joining the decay. "You never want to see the pitcher involved," said Montoyo. But, he added,[Shoemaker’s] a player. He came in because he wanted to go out.

Gaviglio made his entry, which showed his endurance if the team needed a starter instead of Shoemaker. "That's one of the reasons he launched four innings," Montoyo said.

Gaviglio, who was second among Blue Jays pitchers with 24 starts last year, seemed ready to take on that role if needed. "No matter what they tell me to do, I'll do my job," he said after the longest period of relief in his career.

Chris Haft has been covering major leagues since 1991 and has been working for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @goodforball.

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