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C.J. Wilson gets things started right

3/5/2012

PHOENIX -- The spring after Barry Zito signed with the San Francisco Giants, he showed up in Arizona with an all new delivery.

AP Photo/Darron Cummings

C.J. Wilson worked exclusively with a fastball and changeup in his Angels' debut.

It wasn't greeted all that warmly by the Giants, who had given him a seven-year, $126 million contract based on his work in Oakland, including three All-Star seasons and a Cy Young award. Why tinker with success?

So, it raised a few eyebrows Monday when C.J. Wilson said he "made a lot of mechanical adjustments this offseason." The Angels gave him a five-year, $77.5 contract based on his 31-15 record and 3.14 ERA the past two seasons as a starter with the Texas Rangers.

It turns out, Wilson's adjustments were more like tweaks.

"Remember last year, when I threw right-handed?" Wilson joked. "Everything in baseball is subtle at this level. There's not a lot of stuff you can actually see unless you're breaking it down on so much video. There are little things and I don't need to get into that, because you guys aren't technical kinesiologists so there's no real point."

Wilson got his and the Angels' Cactus League season off to a good start with two scoreless innings Monday against the A's. He worked exclusively with a fastball and changeup. He's hopeful he can improve his changeup and get quicker outs this year. Last season, he pitched a career-high 223 1/3 innings.

"I think it’s a pitch that will add efficiency to my repertoire," Wilson said. "It’s the challenge with Jered [Weaver], Dan [Haren] and Ervin [Santana] to go out there and throw as many innings as they did. Those guys were all like 230 innings last year. It’s that one extra out a game you can get, one less walk, one quicker groundout."