Shoemaker slowly working his way back

Shoemaker slowly working his way back

ANAHEIM -- Matt Shoemaker, who would have started Monday's series opener against the Dodgers, a 7-5 Angels loss, but was scratched due to a right forearm strain, played 5-10 minutes of light catch at Angel Stadium on Monday. The right-hander said everything went according to plan, and he felt good after throwing from 80-90 feet, but he doesn't know when he'll return.

"Probably more catch tomorrow is my guess," Shoemaker said. "What's good is I didn't know when we were gonna play catch, and over the last couple of days of treatment, it's felt way better. It's like, 'OK, let's go play catch then, see how it goes.' Felt good."

Shoemaker said he'll definitely want to throw a bullpen session before he returns to game action. With the Angels' off-day Thursday, the fifth spot in the rotation could come up in Seattle next week. Whether he can return by then will be up to the medical staff, which will let him know what his program will be going forward.

Shoemaker said he'll have a better sense of where he is in his recovery once he's able to resume throwing off a mound. Before he does that, he'll also need to test his forearm by throwing harder.

"You can more tell when you get on it. I didn't get on it today," Shoemaker said. "Today I felt great, but I threw fairly easy."

Worth noting

Albert Pujols had an MRI exam on his right foot on Monday morning, as scheduled, but the Angels team doctor had not yet arrived with the results prior to Monday night's series opener. The pain in his foot could limit Pujols to designated hitter for the remainder of the season, but the veteran has said he will play through the injury.

• Second baseman Johnny Giavotella (fourth nerve palsy) is still having double vision when he looks down or to his left -- and as a result can't face live pitching -- but he said on Monday that his symptoms are slowly improving. He worked out before the series opener against the Dodgers.

• Manager Mike Scioscia reiterated on Monday that even with Shoemaker's injury, top prospect Sean Newcomb has not been on any lists he's received as a possible callup.

• Third baseman Kyle Kubitza set Triple-A Salt Lake's franchise record by reaching base safely in his 42nd consecutive game on Sunday.

David Adler is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.