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Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson hopes hip check leads to better results

Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson hopes he has gotten past the physical problems that have hurt him in recent starts

It was like taking your car in for an oil change and discovering you also needed a front-end alignment.

While rehabilitating the right-ankle sprain that sent him to the disabled list on July 10, Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson found he had considerable tightness in his left hip, a condition that may have contributed to his allowing 19 earned runs and 31 hits in 16 2/3 innings of his last four starts.

“I lost total use of my left leg in the delivery,” Wilson said before Tuesday night’s game against the Baltimore Orioles. “My hip was really messed up. There were some flexibility issues and imbalances. It had the effect of dragging the ball back over the middle of the plate, which is bad. That’s where they hit the ball.”

In addition to his ankle work, Wilson underwent deep-tissue massage and physical therapy on his hip. He took himself out for a test drive on Monday, allowing two runs and four hits, striking out seven and walking two in 5 1/3 innings of a rehabilitation start for double-A Arkansas.

Wilson threw 81 pitches and was pleased with the velocity of his fastball, which sat in the 93-mph range, and his mechanics.

“It’s way better,” said Wilson, who is 8-6 with a 4.33 earned-run average in 19 starts this season. “The sharpness of the breaking ball is the biggest thing. I can get all the way extended. And the velocity was a lot easier to come by.”

Wilson accompanied the team to Baltimore and will throw a bullpen session in Camden Yards on Wednesday or Thursday. Barring setback, he could be folded back into the rotation Saturday at Tampa Bay, most likely bumping Hector Santiago to the bullpen or triple-A.

“There’s definitely one scenario where he can start this weekend, but we’re not going to commit to anything, because C.J. needs to go through these workouts and be evaluated,” Manager Mike Scioscia said. “He needs to feel good about where he is before he takes the next step.”

Did the manager notice any problems related to Wilson’s left hip before going on the DL?

“From our perspective, nothing in his delivery looked totally out of whack,” Scioscia said. “But as far as what he’s seeing, and his ability to finish pitches, that’s obviously something he’s going to feel.”

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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