We learned today that CJ Wilson's throwing program will be shut down for at least 8 to 10 days. I wasn't a math major, but with the season starting 10 days from today, that doesn't leave time for him to be ready for Opening Day. When/if he's able to continue his throwing program, he will still need to progress to bullpen sessions, throwing off a mound, and then minor league games. Really, a month is rather optimistic at this time.
So, where does that leave the Angels as we head to the season?
Garret Richards will get the ball on Opening Night and Andrew Heaney has looked the part of a former top prospect ready to compete at the MLB level. Hector Santiago looks to be a decent bet to go 6 roller coaster innings but keep the team in the game.
That leaves two spots in the rotation open, one of which many were hoping to be filled by a healthy, contract seeking Wilson.
Jered Weaver looks to be done. He's battling neck stiffness, or back stiffness, or Father Time and a lack of velocity. I'd love him to prove me wrong, but I think Scioscia's love of veterans means Weaver gets the ball at least a few times if he's not on the DL.
Matt Shoemaker has given up 7 home runs in just 20 Spring Training games. He might be best used pitching to our own guys about 5:30 pm to get them warmed up for the real game. Again, I hope he proves me wrong.
Nick Tropeano should, in my opinion, win the fifth starter spot for the opening month. Shoemaker has an option left and can work out his kinks in Salt Lake City. Last year Nick showed an ability to compete at the big league level making some nice starts down the stretch.
Waiting in the wings is Tyler Skaggs. The highly touted prospect has yet to put it together at the MLB level on a consistent basis but should be in the rotation before CJ comes back.
It will be a nervous April, with no margin for error and the full depth of the pitching staff tested. I have confidence in the young arms, but it will be tested.