Los Angeles Angels right-hander Matt Shoemaker is unlikely to pitch in the team's final five regular-season games due to a mild left rib-cage strain, but the team is hopeful he can take the mound in the playoffs for the AL West champions.
Shoemaker played some light catch Monday, the first time he's thrown since suffering the injury against the Seattle Mariners on Sept. 15.
"It's better, but it's still sore," Shoemaker told reporters Monday. "I'm getting into a lot of physical activity, moving around, getting ready to go. There's still no timetable, but I feel very optimistic about getting on a mound again."
Shoemaker has enjoyed a breakout campaign for the Angels, going 16-4 with a 3.04 ERA.
"We're very encouraged he'll be ready, but you won't know until he gets on a mound and turns it loose, and that's still a ways away," manager Mike Scioscia told reporters Monday.
In other Angels injury news, outfielder Josh Hamilton (shoulder, chest, rib-cage injuries) felt "pretty good" after hitting off a tee, Scioscia said, but won't return until Friday at the earliest.