Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson has been scratched from Thursday’s Cactus League start against the Chicago Cubs because of a left-knee injury that is not believed to be serious. Left-hander Sean Newcomb, the team’s first-round draft pick in 2014, will start in Wilson’s place.
Wilson, who is looking to bounce back from a sub-par 2014 season in which he went 13-10 with a 4.51 earned-run average, tweaked the knee during a fielding drill on Monday. He played catch on Wednesday but was held out of fielding drills.
“He should be fine, but we want to give him a couple of days to get over it,” Manager Mike Scioscia said. “He should be off a mound in a couple of days.”
Scioscia said the setback should not affect Wilson’s ability to be ready by opening day.
Pitching coach Mike Butcher “has a flexible program for where these guys need to be, and they start early enough to where you can absorb a little bump like this,” he said. “We can even push him back a full five days and he should be OK.”
Closer Huston Street, who was scratched from Tuesday’s scheduled inning against Texas, remained home sick on Wednesday. Setup man Joe Smith has been slowed by what Scioscia called “spring-training leg stiffness that he’s working through.” The right-hander is expected to pitch in a game this weekend.
Garrett Richards, who threw a two-inning, 41-pitch simulated game on Tuesday, participated in fielding drills Wednesday, but Scioscia said the right-hander, who is recovering from left-knee surgery, will need to throw one more simulated game before pitching in his first Cactus League game.