C.J. Wilson said the tightness in his elbow that prevented him from making his scheduled start on Thursday began in the fourth or fifth inning of his April 18 start in Houston. Wilson allowed two runs in the game, one each in the sixth and seventh innings of a 4-0 loss to the Astros.
The Angels No. 2 starter could have started Thursday if necessary, but preferred to push his appearance to Saturday against Texas in place of Matt Shoemaker, who left the team Wednesday after the death of his grandfather.
“It’s a little stiff, but it’ll be good in a couple of days,” Wilson said of his left elbow. “It just didn’t rebound well from my last start. If I go out there and throw up a duck then that doesn’t do anybody any good and it taxes the bullpen. So a little bit of extra rest every once in a while is good for a pitcher.”
Matt Joyce wasn’t just dropped from No. 4 to No. 6 in the Angels batting order Wednesday and Thursday because the lefty was facing right-handed starting pitchers. The left fielder began the season 7 for his first 46 (.152) since the Angels acquired him in an offseason trade that sent reliever Kevin Jepsen to Tampa Bay. Accordingly, Angels manager Mike Scioscia is trying to take some pressure off Josh Hamilton’s replacement.
“That’s part of it, yeah,” Scioscia said. “Matt just needs to take a half-step back so we moved him down in the order and hopefully he’ll start to find some timing and find some confidence. His at-bats early on, it looked like he was starting to come but right now he’s going the other direction.”
Angels manager Mike Scioscia admitted on Wednesday his estimate of Josh Hamilton’s arrival to the Angels training complex in Arizona “later this week” may have been premature. Scioscia denied there was any confusion within the organization despite reports of general manager Jerry Dipoto disagreeing with Scioscia’s timetable for Hamilton.
“No mixed messages,” Scioscia said. “I think the process is starting with Josh this week. I think that the timetable for him to get to Arizona is really fluid, but could happen this weekend, could happen next week, but the process is there.”
Tightness in C.J. Wilson’s elbow and the death of Matt Shoemaker’s grandfather prompted some adjustments in the Angels pitching rotation.
Starting in place of Wilson in Thursday’s series finale against the A’s will be Nick Tropeano, who was called up from Triple-A Wednesday. The 24-year-old filled a roster sport vacated by Shoemaker, who was placed on the bereavement list. Wilson will start Saturday after experiencing tightness in his left elbow following his start in Saturday’s 4-0 loss to Houston.
“He probably could pitch (Thursday) if he had to,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “Just had a little stiffness when he came out of his last start.”