C.J. Wilson passes strength test, could return to Angels in a month

C.J. Wilson’s ailing shoulder passed the strength test on Saturday that cleared him to begin a throwing program in Arizona when the Angels go on the road Monday. Wilson won’t be ready to pitch in a major league game for at least a month.

“Unless he can get some strong long toss in and he’s repeating it to build some stamina in his arm, make sure the range of motion is there and everything he needs,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “Then we’ll consider putting him on a mound. But we’re a ways away. We’re not even close to talking about him getting off a mound.” Continue reading

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Angels’ rotation reaches new level of discord, but is there hope?

It was already tenuous when the Angels began the season so uncertain about what $40 million worth of starting pitching would produce.

Jered Weaver’s velocity dipped to a new low in the spring and C.J. Wilson admitted his mounting injuries created some doubt he’ll ever return to the Angels starting rotation. Weaver and Wilson are both owed $20 million in 2016, the final year of their contracts.

When Andrew Heaney’s flexor muscle strain landed him on the disabled list Wednesday, one start into his season, the Angels’ starting rotation entered a new level of discord. Continue reading

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Angels’ Weaver to return on Sunday, regain form…eventually

Jered Weaver likely won’t ever regain the form that made him one of the best pitchers in the majors just a few seasons ago. But he won’t ever admit it.

Weaver’s dramatic drop in velocity, among other things, has raised serious questions about the 33-year-old’s ability to remotely resemble the player that was a three-time All-Star. Concern reached new heights when his fastball topped out at 82 mph in spring training.

After throwing 60 pitches in a simulated game on Tuesday in his attempt to return from neck soreness that bothered him throughout the spring, Weaver said he is confident it’s all coming back.

“One hundred percent, guarantee it,” Weaver said. Continue reading

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Will Angels suffer from loss of clubhouse leaders Freese, Aybar?

Despite a quiet winter, the Angels did experience a fair amount of turnover in one important area of their roster. The left side of the infield played a particularly prominent role in the clubhouse, but both David Freese and Erick Aybar are employed by different teams in 2015.

New shortstop Andrelton Simmons and third baseman Yunel Escobar are filling some unique shoes.

“I think clubhouses seem to turn over every year to some degree,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “I think Erick Aybar in particular, this guy was really important to everybody in that clubhouse. We replaced the guys who came over have great make-up, great chemistry.” Continue reading

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