Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim starting pitcher Matt Shoemaker has been voted the American League Pitcher of the Month and the American League Rookie of the Month for August, marking just the ninth time since the Rookie of the Month Award was introduced in 2001 that a Player or Pitcher of the Month Award winner has garnered Rookie honors in the same calendar month. Shoemaker joins three other pitchers to accomplish the feat: Florida's Dontrelle Willis (June 2003), and Tampa Bay's Jeremy Hellickson (May 2011) and Chris Archer (July 2013). The five position players to win dual accolades include Milwaukee's Ryan Braun (July 2007); San Francisco's Buster Posey (July 2010); fellow Angel Mike Trout (July 2012); the Dodgers' Yasiel Puig (June 2013); and Chicago White Sox All-Star rookie Jose Abreu (April and July 2014). Shoemaker is the first Angel to be recognized with a monthly award since Jason Vargas won Pitcher of the Month in May 2013. Trout was the last Halo to win Rookie of the Month, earning the last of his four consecutive rookie honors in August 2012.
Shoemaker went 6-1 with a 1.31 ERA, six walks and 38 strikeouts over 41.1 innings pitched in seven appearances (six starts). His lone relief appearance came at the tail end of a 19-inning game with the Boston Red Sox on August 9th as Matt tossed the final 3.0 scoreless frames in the Angels' 5-4 win at Angel Stadium. Among A.L. pitching leaders with at least 27.0 innings pitched, the right-hander was tops in wins and ERA (also leading the Majors in ERA); was sixth in opponents' batting average (.178); and was seventh in innings. Shoemaker led all A.L. rookies in wins, innings pitched, strikeouts, ERA, opponents' batting average, fewest hits per 9.0 innings pitched (5.66) and fewest walks per 9.0 innings pitched (1.31). He allowed the third-fewest total bases in the league with 38. The Michigan native won his 13th game of the season in an August 26th start against Miami (7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 6 SO) to become the first non-drafted American-born rookie to reach the 13-win plateau since San Francisco's John Montefusco in 1975. The 27-year-old matched a franchise rookie record for wins after notching his 14th victory of the season (7.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 7 SO) in an 8-1 triumph over Oakland on August 31st. His seven strikeouts gave him 115 on the year, helping the Eastern Michigan University product become the first rookie since CC Sabathia in 2001 to reach 14-win, 115-strikeout minimums before September. Shoemaker heads into his next start riding a 23.1-inning scoreless streak, the second longest by a rookie in franchise history behind Bob Lee's 27.0-inning string during the 1964 season. He is the first Angel with three straight games of at least 7.0 shutout innings pitched since Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan over the 1976-77 seasons. Rudy May is the last to do so in a single campaign.
Others receiving A.L. Pitcher of the Month votes were Baltimore's Chris Tillman (4-0, 1.33 ERA, 33 SO); Minnesota's Phil Hughes (4-1, 2.06 ERA, 2 BB, 34 SO); Tampa Bay's Drew Smyly (3-1, 1.50 ERA, 29 SO), in his debut month with the club; and Kansas City's Greg Holland (11 SV, 15 SO).
Others receiving votes for A.L. Rookie of the Month included Abreu (.376, 2 HR, 16 RBI); Minnesota's Kennys Vargas (.309, 4 HR, 24 RBI) and Danny Santana (.313, 5 2B, 4 3B, 3 HR, 14 RBI); and Houston's Collin McHugh (3-0, 1.91 ERA, 6 BB, 30 SO).
In recognition of his American League Pitcher of the Month and American League Rookie of the Month Awards, Matt Shoemaker will receive two specially designed trophies, suitably engraved, for his accomplishment.