Breaking Down The C.J. Wilson “Injury”
By Andrew Petrucci
Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Well the soap opera that is the 2015 Angels just keeps on moving. First it was the Josh Hamilton saga, next it was the rising tensions between GM Jerry Dipoto & Mike Scioscia ending with Dipoto resigning in the middle of a game. And now we have C.J. Wilson. The man with a million excuses and zero answers.
On Friday, Wilson was placed on the 15 day DL for basically a diagnosis of bone spurs, but this was just used as a precautionary measure. The Angels plan was to give the lefty a few weeks off and through rehab be able to return in time for the final few weeks of the season. But that isn’t likely to happen. Wilson seems to be very content with getting surgery and missing the remainder of this season, regardless of how bad the Angels need him. Stating that he has been pitching through this injury since April and he can’t go any further. There will be a second opinion on his MRI, which will take place on Aug. 11th, so it remains to be seen but don’t count on Wilson to battle through an injury.
THE TEAM QUESTIONS HIS TOUGHNESS
Reports have been swirling throughout the Angels clubhouse that once again there is gossip. Several players have expressed their displeasure in Wilson wanting to shut it down for the year, essentially calling him out and saying he should push through the pain. But Wilson has remained strongly opposed claiming he’s already thrown 100 innings and not going to risk any further damage.
So there is a clear divide. As to which players said what, nothing has been reported. But it doesn’t take a genius to read between the lines here. One of the issues is the fact that Wilson has gone about this injury discreetly, seeking his own doctors and keeping the team out of the loop. In a 162 game season players have to become family for better or worse. Therefore, tensions are always ready to implode at any moment. With all of the circumstances that have gone on this season and to be nearing the make or break point of the playoff push, Wilson doing his own thing is going to piss some teammates off. Could it stem from him being the only player to back Josh Hamilton after the Angels traded him? The answer is in the clubhouse, but from here its clear the relationship between the team and Wilson is strained.
Is it wrong for players to question if one of their own is faking an injury? Yes. Its almost an unwritten rule amongst teammates. So if Wilson is really injured he has no one to answer to.
Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
This is just more gossip and irrelevant talk that the Angels don’t need to be focused on. The team is going to be fine without him. And honestly, better off going into the stretch run without Wilson on the mound. Forget about the injury, even when he’s healthy this guy is softer than butter. He’s mastered the ability to put together enough good meaningless outings each season to salvage a respectable record and give everyone false confidence. When push comes to shove, Wilson is not the guy you want on the mound in crunch time. His postseason numbers are evidence: 1 win, 6 losses, and 8 consecutive winless starts in October. The real gut punch here is Wilson keeping the Angels in the dark about his injury. With him continuing to make starts giving off the notion that everything was OK, it eased the front office’s concerns about the rotation going forward. Finally waiting for the deadline to pass and delivering the news is a shady move. Said it before, Wilson should have been traded months ago for Andre Ethier.
Looking forward, the pitching staff can manage without C.J. Wilson. Andrew Heaney has been an immediate upgrade in the rotation and potentially becoming a guy you can count on for quality starts. For the playoffs a three man rotation of Garrett Richards, Hector Santiago, & Andrew Heaney is going to give this team the best shot to win a short series like the ALDS anyways.
P.S. – Angels scored runs, and won a baseball game last night.