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Shoemaker (forearm) begins throwing program

Angels righty was shut down July 6 after injury setback
MLB.com @mi_guardado

ANAHEIM -- After a two-week shutdown, Angels right-hander Matt Shoemaker received clearance to throw from 60 feet before the Halos' series opener against the Red Sox at Angel Stadium.

"We just did a nice and easy 60-feet activation today just to get started," Shoemaker said. "Obviously wanted to do more than that, but it's been two weeks of no throwing, so good to get out there."

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ANAHEIM -- After a two-week shutdown, Angels right-hander Matt Shoemaker received clearance to throw from 60 feet before the Halos' series opener against the Red Sox at Angel Stadium.

"We just did a nice and easy 60-feet activation today just to get started," Shoemaker said. "Obviously wanted to do more than that, but it's been two weeks of no throwing, so good to get out there."

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Shoemaker had not thrown since July 6, when he was diagnosed with posterior interosseous nerve syndrome in his right forearm and received a cortisone injection. His forearm issue first cropped up during a start on June 14 and triggered a stint on the disabled list. Shoemaker improved enough to begin a rehab assignment, but he felt renewed tightness in his forearm following a three-inning outing in the Minor Leagues on July 4, prompting the Angels to shut him down.

Shoemaker said his symptoms have now subsided and added that his forearm felt better than the last time he attempted to return to the mound.

"Last time we were in the same boat and it didn't come back until I pitched," Shoemaker said. "Symptom-wise, it feels better [and] stronger than before, from what I remember."

Shoemaker, 30, was 6-3 with a 4.52 ERA in 77 2/3 innings this season before the injury. Manager Mike Scioscia said the Angels would have a better sense of Shoemaker's timetable once he gets more throwing sessions under his belt.

"Good sign for Matt just to activate the arm," manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's taking those baby steps right now, so we're not going to get a read on him for at least a week or 10 days."

Lineup shuffle

With Cameron Maybin on the disabled list, the Angels have altered their lineup configuration, moving Yunel Escobar back into the leadoff spot and slotting Mike Trout in the two-hole. Kole Calhoun, the Halos' usual No. 2 hitter, batted sixth on Friday night with Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale on the mound. The Angels will keep Trout in the two-hole even against righties, but Scioscia said the club could also try putting Calhoun atop the order and having Escobar bat cleanup.

"We'll see where Kole fits in," Scioscia said. "If he can fit in behind Albert [Pujols], or we flip flop Kole in the leadoff spot and put Esky back behind Albert, we'll have those options as we move forward."

Worth noting

• Left-hander Andrew Heaney fired four scoreless innings in his second rehab start in the Arizona League on Thursday. Heaney, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery and appears on track to pitch for the Angels this season, allowed just three hits while walking none and striking out five.

• A trio of Angels farmhands were promoted on Thursday: Outfielder Jahmai Jones and catcher Jack Kruger were transferred from Class A Burlington to Class A Advanced Inland Empire, while catcher Taylor Ward made the jump from Inland Empire to Double-A Mobile. Jones, ranked the Angels' No. 1 prospect by MLBPipleline.com, batted .272 with a .338 on-base percentage in 86 games with Burlington.

• Minor League right-hander Greg Belton received a 50-game suspension without pay on Friday after testing positive for Amphetamine, a stimulant in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment program. Belton had been on Inland Empire's roster.

• Right-hander Garrett Richards (biceps strain) has progressed to throwing from 90 feet, though Scioscia said he'll have to reach 165-180 feet before beginning mound work.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.

Los Angeles Angels, Matt Shoemaker