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Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson feeling immediate relief after elbow surgery

Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson feeling immediate relief after elbow surgery
Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson expects to be 100% next season after undergoing surgery on his left elbow. (Pat Sullivan / Associated Press)

Two weeks after undergoing season-ending surgery to have bone chips and spurs removed from his elbow, starting pitcher C.J. Wilson said his left arm already feels "way better than it did before the surgery."

Wilson, who went 8-8 with a 3.89 earned-run average in 21 starts before succumbing to season-long elbow pain, can fully extend his arm and has regained a significant amount of his range of motion.

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Wilson, 34, had a similar procedure after the 2012 season and went 17-7 with a 3.39 ERA in 2013. He is confident he will bounce back in 2016, the final year of his five-year, $77.5-million contract.

"I'll be 100%, zero issues," he said. "My record is to be pretty durable, but at the same time, being durable means putting a lot of mileage on your body. This is small hiccup in that regard, but I look to be back on top of my form next year. … I've been through this before. I'm not really concerned."

Wilson said there is not one particular pitch in his vast repertoire that puts more stress on his elbow, but he will have to make one concession when he returns.

"I need to avoid trying to throw the ball with max effort repeatedly, over and over and over again," he said. His elbow problems are "a condition of pitching, not necessarily of my mechanics. I don't have anything too flagrant that I do. I just need to stay on top of my mechanics overall."

Quick thinking

Garrett Richards benefited from an alert instant-replay request from the Angels dugout in the fifth inning Wednesday night. Dodgers rookie Corey Seager led off with a single and appeared to get to the bag in plenty of time on a Richards pick-off attempt.

But Seager did a little tap-dance on the bag, hopping off with his right foot and landing on his left foot while first baseman C.J. Cron applied the tag. The Angels challenged, and after a 3-minute 6-second review, Seager was ruled out.

Short hops

Matt Shoemaker, who missed Monday's start because of a forearm strain, pushed his throwing program from 90 feet to 120 feet Wednesday. The right-hander will take Thursday off and hopes to extend to 140 feet or so Friday before his next step, throwing off a mound. ... When Justin Ruggiano and Kole Calhoun homered in the first inning Tuesday, it was only the third time in Angel Stadium history that both teams hit leadoff homers. The others: Sept. 25, 1996 (Randy Velarde and Seattle's Joey Cora) and Sept. 8, 1995 (Tony Phillips and Minnesota's Chuck Knoblauch)

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