C.J. Wilson is still a hitter at heart …
C.J. Wilson may be a little more amped for his next start than any other this season (maybe even more so than his return to Texas). The Angels are playing in Colorado, to kick off a six-game stretch at National League parks, and that means Wilson will actually get to hit. C.J. loves hitting, more so than most pitchers.
So, I asked …
Was playing on an NL team, where you can hit during starts, a big factor for you during free agency?
So why were the Angels able to sign you?
“Home. If it would’ve been pretty much any other team, then …”
Then you would’ve been a Marlin right now.
Wilson always wanted to be a hitter. He played some outfield and first base at Santa Ana Junior College and Loyola Marymount University, hits when he can during the offseason and takes it very seriously when Angels pitchers go out for pregame batting practice.
“It’s awesome,” he said. “You get a chance to influence the game. As a kid growing up, I always wanted to be a hitter, so I always took hitting seriously when I was a kid and when I was in college and stuff. … And it’s competitive with all the players on the team.”
But Wilson — 1-for-11 in 14 big league plate appearances, if you count the postseason — will admit he isn’t the best hitter on the staff. That title belongs to Dan Haren, who’s a .225 career hitter (59-for-262) with two homers and 27 RBIs.
“Dan’s obviously a great hitter,” Wilson said, with Haren nodding in approval right next to him. “But I don’t think he’s really been challenged here at all.”
Asked when he gave up the dream of being a big league hitter to focus solely on pitching, Wilson said: “I never have. I still think I can hit in the big leagues. … I still think if I got the chance, I can still do it.”
Well, he’ll get his chance Friday.