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Tests on Shoemaker's forearm are inconclusive

Angels right-hander will undergo another exam in a few weeks
MLB.com @mi_guardado

ARLINGTON -- The Angels are still searching for answers on Matt Shoemaker, whose electromyography and nerve conduction study on his right forearm earlier this week yielded no new findings of nerve irritation, according to a statement released by the club Wednesday.

Shoemaker will undergo a followup nerve conduction exam in a few weeks and remains shut down from throwing. The 31-year-old right-hander landed on the disabled list with a forearm strain on April 3 after experiencing discomfort during his season debut against the A's on March 31.

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ARLINGTON -- The Angels are still searching for answers on Matt Shoemaker, whose electromyography and nerve conduction study on his right forearm earlier this week yielded no new findings of nerve irritation, according to a statement released by the club Wednesday.

Shoemaker will undergo a followup nerve conduction exam in a few weeks and remains shut down from throwing. The 31-year-old right-hander landed on the disabled list with a forearm strain on April 3 after experiencing discomfort during his season debut against the A's on March 31.

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Shoemaker also dealt with a forearm issue last year, which cost him more than half the season and required season-ending surgery to release the compressed radial nerve in his arm. There is no timetable for his return as the Angels continue to work to determine a diagnosis.

The Angels have already lost fellow starter JC Ramirez to a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. Ramirez is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the 2018 season.

Jaime Barria, the Angels' No. 7 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, pitched in Shoemaker's place on Wednesday night in his MLB debut against the Rangers. The Angels have already used seven starting pitchers through their first 13 games of the season, tying the franchise record they set in 2001.

Busy bullpen

Compounding the Angels' rotation injuries is the fact that their healthy starters have so far struggled to get deep into games on a consistent basis, leaving the bullpen to shoulder a heavy workload. Entering Wednesday, the Angels' bullpen led the American League with 55 1/3 innings and ranked second with a 2.44 ERA.

Manager Mike Scioscia acknowledged Wednesday that that volume of innings is unsustainable for the club's relievers.

"We know that we cannot maintain the pace that we've had the first week," Scioscia said. "We don't believe we'll have to. We feel that we're going to start to get that length out of our starters to where we're getting into that 17-, 18-, 19-out consistent start, which will take a little pressure off us having to finish games."

Video: Rangers pitcher Chris Martin on playing with Ohtani

Martin, Ohtani catch up

The Rangers-Angels series has allowed Texas reliever Chris Martin to have a chance to speak with one of his former Nippon-Ham Fighter teammates. Martin became good friends with two-way player Shohei Ohtani while playing for the Fighters the past two seasons in Japan, and they have had a couple of conversations while the Angels have been in town.

"We were teammates for two years; we talked as much as we could and learned from each other," Martin said. "He was asking questions all the time because he was set on coming over here. Looks like he is having a good time. He is enjoying our culture and how the players are welcoming him into the clubhouse."

Martin said he has no doubts Ohtani will be successful in the Major Leagues.

"He has a lot of tools, he's driven, and he's ready to take on this challenge," Martin said. "It's great for baseball: Having a guy who pitches and throws 100 [mph], and in BP hits 500-foot home runs. It's always fun to watch, no matter who it is. His mindset is to be the best player he can be."

Leadoff man to return

The Angels are expecting to activate second baseman Ian Kinsler (left adductor strain) off the disabled list on Thursday. Kinsler will likely return to the top of the order, with Zack Cozart slotting back in the middle of the lineup.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Los Angeles Angels, Matt Shoemaker