Left-hander C.J. Wilson’s shoulder soreness has led the Angels to shut down his throwing program for at least 8-10 days, manager Mike Scioscia told reporters (including Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register). There was already speculation that Wilson would miss some significant time to begin the season, and this latest setback means that he won’t be able to return until May at the earliest.
An MRI last month revealed that Wilson was suffering from tendinitis rather than a more serious injury, though that’s probably little comfort to Wilson now as he’s missed all of Spring Training. The southpaw was already recovering from another injury, an August surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow that cut short his 2015 season.
Wilson is owed $20MM in 2016, the last season of the five-year, $77.5MM free agent deal he signed with the Halos following the 2011 campaign. That salary, the elbow surgery, an eight-team no-trade clause and Wilson’s age (35) all limited his trade value this past winter, as the Angels were known to be shopping the veteran in an attempt to get some payroll relief. A few teams showed interest but only as a buy-low candidate. Now that Wilson will miss at least a month, it creates less time for him to re-establish his health and effectiveness before either the July trade deadline or for free agency in the offseason.
Over his four years in Anaheim, Wilson has averaged 181 innings per season with a 3.87 ERA, 7.7 K/9 and 2.03 K/BB rate. His absence further thins out an Angels rotation that also has Jered Weaver battling neck stiffness. The rotation projects as Garrett Richards, Andrew Heaney, Weaver, Hector Santiago and Matt Shoemaker, with Nick Tropeano and (when he returns from Tommy John rehab) Tyler Skaggs also on hand.