Angels’ Bobby Wilson doesn’t make waves
Maybe if Bobby Wilson had more than three months of big league service time or a chip on his shoulder the size of a catcher’s mitt, he’d march into Angels Manager Mike Scioscia’s office and demand more playing time.
There is credible evidence to support the rookie catcher — the Angels are 10-1 in his 11 starts, their pitchers combining for a 2.53 earned-run average in those games.
But Wilson, 27, is as unassuming as they come, so don’t expect any complaints from him.
“I would like to think there is a correlation — the guys I’ve caught have pitched well,” Wilson said. “But I don’t want to look into it too much. The bottom line is to try to keep the team close to give the offense a chance.”
Wilson had a rude welcome to the major leagues. In his first start, against the New York Yankees on April 23, he was steamrolled by Mark Teixeira at the plate, suffering a concussion and ankle strain that sent him to the disabled list.
He returned as a third catcher in late May, but with catcher Mike Napoli replacing the injured Kendry Morales at first base, Wilson has a more prominent role as Jeff Mathis’ primary backup.
On Saturday, Wilson caught a 12-0 win over the Chicago Cubs, in which Jered Weaver gave up two hits in seven innings.
“Bobby did a great job calling pitches,” Weaver said. “We were on the same page all game.”
Wilson, who spent seven years in the minor leagues, has received similar praise from other starters, but it hasn’t gone to his head.
“I feel like I belong here, and I’m getting more comfortable with each start,” Wilson said. “A big part of my success is being prepared for every situation. I will not allow myself to not be prepared.”
Block of granite
Second baseman Howie Kendrick was a little sore from landing awkwardly on his left shoulder but otherwise OK after turning a crucial eighth-inning double play while being taken out hard by the Dodgers’ Casey Blake in the Angels’ 6-3 win Tuesday.
“You’re going to have to do more to take me out,” Kendrick said. “[Blake] always comes in hard — he got me at their place, too — and I respect that.”
Kendrick, a muscular 5 feet 10 and 215 pounds, is as immovable a middle-infield force as there is in the game, but he’s also learning to bail out when there is no chance for a double play.
“The more you play the more you understand when you have to stand in there and when you shouldn’t,” Kendrick said. “I knew I had a good shot at turning two [Tuesday]. Sometimes, you’ve just got to wear it.”
An intriguing arm to keep an eye on at double-A Arkansas: Daniel Cabrera, a 6-9 right-hander who signed a minor league deal with the Angels in mid-June.
Known for his blazing fastball and control problems, Cabrera had 674 strikeouts and 520 walks in 892 1/3 innings over six big league seasons, five with the Baltimore Orioles.
The Angels are converting Cabrera to a reliever, and he has a 2.57 ERA in seven innings, with six strikeouts and three walks.
“The arm strength is there,” Scioscia said. “There are some delivery things we’re looking at.”
Reliever Jason Bulger, on the disabled list since June 11 because of a shoulder strain, has been long tossing all week and hopes to throw off a mound Friday. … Top draft picks Taylor Lindsey (shortstop) and Ryan Bolden and Chevy Clarke (outfield) worked out in Angel Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.
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