Expectations High for C.J. Wilson Following DL Stint
Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Los Angeles Angels No. 2 starting pitcher C.J. Wilson was sent to the disabled list on July 10th due to a sprained ankle, which is something Angel fans scratched their head about. This is the first time Wilson has been sent to the DL in his three-year stint with the Halos.
Prior to Wilson’s injury, the left-hander struggled through late June and early July after posting solid numbers in the early part of 2014. Through June 8th, he was 7-5 with a respectable 3.32 ERA. However, after that game versus the White Sox, he gave up a total of 24 earned runs on 40 hits over 29 2/3 innings; seven of those hits being home runs.
Wilson has also been known to get into trouble when he starts to nibble around the strike zone. This leads to walks and more opportunities for the opposition to score against him. Since his June 8th start against Chicago, he has allowed 16 walks in eight starts.
During Wilson’s time in Anaheim, he has proven to be a work horse that can be counted on to pitch 200+ innings every year. This makes him the type of pitcher every teams wants in their staff. Up to this point he has only pitched 116.1 innings which may cause him to miss the 200 inning threshold. Many would have to wonder if this type of injury arises due to over-working him over the past five or six years.
He was a major bullpen contributor with the Texas Rangers in 2010 and 2011, including their deep playoff runs. Luckily for the Angels, this injury was minor and didn’t affect his elbow or shoulder. It was recently reported that he also faced hip tightness which caused a hitch in his delivery. Wilson blamed his struggles mostly on that issue.
Luckily, the Angels found a diamond in the rough with Garrett Richards, who has taken over the second rotation spot and thrived. Richards has made a major contribution to the Angels’ overall success in 2014.
The Angels biggest weakness in the second half seems to be the back end of a rotation that features Tyler Skaggs, Matt Shoemaker and Hector Santiago. With Wilson likely back for a weekend series with Tampa Bay, it is more than likely that Santiago moves back to the bullpen.
The Angels definitely need a healthy and productive Wilson to help solidify the back end of the rotation. If everything goes well, this should lead to a deep October run.