C.J. Wilson gets things started right

March, 5, 2012
3/05/12
3:26
PM PT
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."

Mark Saxon

ESPNLosAngeles.com
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Jered Weaver
WINS ERA SO IP
15 3.57 137 181
OTHER LEADERS
BAM. Trout .290
HRM. Trout 31
RBIM. Trout 97
RM. Trout 92
OPSM. Trout .934
ERAG. Richards 2.61
SOG. Richards 164