C.J. Wilson experienced flulike symptoms Tuesday and was scratched from a spring-training start for the second straight time, a setback that could prevent the Angels left-hander from pitching in a season-opening series in Seattle in April.
Wilson, who was slotted to open the season as the No. 2 starter, allowed one run and two hits, struck out two and walked none in three innings of his first Cactus League game against Oakland on March 7. He threw 41 pitches.
But Wilson was scratched from his second scheduled start last week because of a minor left-knee injury, which he suffered in a fielding drill, and he was unable to pitch against the Colorado Rockies at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Tuesday.
If Wilson makes his next start Sunday, he would have only three exhibition games to build up to the six-inning, 90-pitch range he would need to pitch in the regular season. Starters usually jump in 15-pitch increments per game in spring training.
Manager Mike Scioscia said it’s possible Wilson could be ready for the season-opening series if he “can pitch in the next few days.”
If not, the Angels, because of an off-day after the Seattle series, could push Wilson’s first start to April 15 in Texas, the ninth game of the season and first in which the Angels would need a fifth starter.
“There’s a little wiggle room in the schedule, and if he needs to be folded into the back end of the rotation, we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it,” Scioscia said. “We want to get him out there to see how he is. Sometimes it’s a 24-hour thing. We’ll wait and see.”
When Wilson reported to camp in February he attributed part of his 2014 struggles to an attempt to pitch with severe flu-like symptoms last June 3, when he gave up five runs in 2 2/3 innings.
Wilson said he was “thrown off” by adjustments he made in an effort to pitch with a weakened body, and he went on to have his worst year as a starting pitcher, going 13-10 with a 4.51 earned-run average.
“The concern today would be that he’d go out and pitch and be sick and put himself at risk, whether it’s for an oblique or muscle [strain] because he’s dehydrated,” Scioscia said. We’re going to make sure we get clearance from medical staff on when he can pitch.”
Right-hander Drew Rucinski will start in Wilson’s place against the Rockies.