Monday, April 6, 2015

Angels call on Wilson in season's first lefty-lefty matchup

The second of 18 meetings between the Angels and Mariners features a matchup of lefties, with C.J. Wilson facing off against James Paxton at Safeco Field at 7:10 p.m. PT on Tuesday night.
Wilson and Paxton were both slotted ahead of pitchers coming off better seasons, largely because both teams wanted to split up right-handed starters.
Wilson, who posted a 4.51 ERA and led the American League in walks last year, is ahead of Matt Shoemaker, who finished second in AL Rookie of the Year voting in 2014. Paxton, who missed nearly four months with a shoulder issue last year, is ahead of Hisashi Iwakuma, two years removed from finishing third in AL Cy Young Award voting.
• The first lefty-lefty matchup of the season means we'll get a glimpse of how both clubs will utilize platoon advantages. The Mariners will replace Dustin Ackley with Rickie Weeks in left field and Seth Smith for Justin Ruggiano in right field. The Angels will move David Freese to the cleanup spot, and they could sit Matt Joyce for right-handed-hitting outfielder Collin Cowgill.
• Four of Paxton's 17 career starts have come against the Angels. The 26-year-old lefty was 2-1 with a 2.59 ERA against them last year, including two wins in the first seven days of the season.
• Wilson missed a start in Spring Training, and two of his turns came in an intrasquad scrimmage and a Minor League game. But the 34-year-old lefty entered camp with a lot more bullpen sessions under his belt, and he feels the difference in "the repeatability of different pitches."

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