<
>

Wilson continues to look strong in spring

A good off-season conditioning regimen seems to have put C.J. Wilson ahead of the curve this spring.

The Angels' pitcher, who signed a five-year, $77.5 million deal in December, has gotten off to a fast start. He struck out five Kansas City Royals in five innings Tuesday and is now 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA in 14 innings this spring. He has been running before and after every start this spring, but now that he's pitching deeper into games, he said he'll scrap the early running.

Wilson lines up as the Angels' No. 4 starter behind Jered Weaver, Dan Haren and Ervin Santana.

"It's hard to argue when we have three great starters and an OK guy like me," Wilson said. ...

Jordan Walden had a rough day. He faced six batters and allowed five hits and four runs. It was his first blown save of the spring, but he has a 12.46 ERA in less than five innings so far, not exactly the confidence boost the Angels wanted for their second-year closer.

Walden said he has been searching for command of all his pitches, particularly his fastball. Velocity might also have been an issue Tuesday and that could be the more troubling development as Walden relies on an upper-90s fastball.

"It didn't look like he was in-sync in his delivery," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "It looked like he was searching for some stuff and the ball wasn't coming out like we know it can." ...

Minor-league reliever Ryan Brasier injured his left ankle landing awkwardly on it in the eighth inning and had to leave the game. It could be a costly setback for a pitcher who appears to be close to a major league opportunity. Brasier, 24, had a 0.71 ERA in 25 outings at Double-A last year and has the kind of power arm the Angels tend to favor for their bullpen. ...

Top prospect Mike Trout got in his first Cactus League action, going 0-for-3 as the designated hitter. He reached base on an error and walked and seemed to have no ill effects of the illness that cost him nearly three weeks of spring training. The speedster also was caught stealing by catcher Cody Clark.

"He's fine. He just started to slide 47 feet from second. It was like a cartoon," Scioscia said.