OAKLAND, Calif. — Los Angeles Angels pitcher Matt Shoemaker underwent surgery to stop bleeding on his brain after he was struck in the head by a line drive against the Seattle Mariners.
Shoemaker had the procedure performed late Sunday by a neurologist at the University of Washington Medical Center. Los Angeles athletic trainer Adam Nevala is staying with him until he is able to travel to Southern California, perhaps as soon as in a few days.
Angels general manager Billy Eppler provided the update Monday in Oakland, saying Shoemaker had been receiving CT scans every 2-3 hours when the third image showed increased bleeding, shortly before 9 p.m. That’s when surgery was determined the next step.
“The CT scan confirmed or when they actually did the operation that confirmed where the bleeding was,” Eppler said. “They were able to access that area. They were able to seal it, stop the bleeding. He was wheeled back up into recovery and is recovering fine.”
With one out in the second inning, Shoemaker was hit on the right side of the head on a sharp liner off the bat of Kyle Seager — a ball with an exit velocity of 105 mph, according to MLB Statcast. He was able to turn his head slightly to avoid a direct blow to his face but was unable to get his glove up in time.
Shoemaker went to the ground immediately as medical staff rushed to the field. He was down for several minutes being tended to and was bleeding from the spot where he was hit. Teammates knelt around the mound and Seager anxiously watched from first base.
Shoemaker eventually walked off the field with athletic trainers at his side.
Eppler said Shoemaker is expected to make a full recovery and be ready for next season.
“Yeah, as far as I know,” he said.
The Angels expect Shoemaker to be cleared to travel back to Southern California sometime this week.
The GM has been in touch with Shoemaker’s wife, Danielle, while Nevala spoke to Shoemaker on Monday.
“He feels good, as good as he can feel,” Eppler said.
Manager Mike Scioscia had reached out to Shoemaker by text message, not wanting to bother him yet with a phone call.
“Everybody’s been texting him. I don’t think anyone wants to call him right now,” Scioscia said. “We’ve exhaled a little bit since. They monitored him and decided they needed to do surgery. They went in there and hopefully corrected what was causing the bleeding. He’s resting comfortably and everything looks like it’s taken care of. Now it’s just the recuperation process for Matty. Our thoughts and prayers are with him.”
Demoted right-hander Tim Lincecum is a candidate to fill Shoemaker’s rotation spot.
“There’s a number of candidates,” Scioscia said. “Haven’t decided on what the final look will be, but Tim threw a really good game last night.”