LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Travelers) - Los Angeles Angels left-handed pitcher C.J. Wilson will start Monday's series opener against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals at Dickey-Stephens Park. The two-time All-Star is expected to make one appearance before rejoining the Angels and will be the first pitcher to start a game on rehab with the Travs since the affiliation began in 2001.
Wilson is rehabbing a sprained right ankle that sent him to disabled list for the first time since he became a starting pitcher in 2010 with the Texas Rangers. He suffered the injury on July 9 while making a start against Toronto and came out of the game in the fourth inning.
The 33-year old Wilson is a ten-year veteran of the Major Leagues and came up with the Texas Rangers in 2005. He pitched in the Texas League for the Tulsa Drillers in 2002 and the Frisco RoughRiders in 2003 before undergoing elbow ligament replacement surgery in 2004. He worked mostly out of the Texas Rangers bullpen from 2005 through 2009 and recorded 52 saves before he moved into the starting rotation in 2010.
Wilson was 15-8 in 33 starts with a 3.35 ERA during the 2010 season and helped the Rangers to their first World Series appearance. The following year Wilson went 16-7 with a 2.94 ERA, the seventh-lowest in the American League, and appeared in his first All-Star Game while the Rangers won the American League pennant for the second year in a row.
The Angels acquired Wilson after the 2011 season as a free agent signing him to a five-year contract. In two-and-a-half seasons with the Angels, the resident of Huntington Beach, California, is 38-23 with a 3.76 ERA in 86 starts and was named a 2012 American League All-Star. Wilson set a career high and tied for third in the American League with 17 wins in 2013 while posting a 3.39 ERA in 212.1 innings.
Wilson has appeared in two games in Little Rock, once during the 2002 season with the Tulsa Drillers in their last year as the Texas Rangers' Class-AA affiliate. He also made his last appearance in the Texas League at Ray Winder Field pitching against the Travs for the Frisco RoughRiders on July 25, 2003.
Monday's game against Northwest Arkansas has a 7:10 p.m. first pitch time with the gates opening at 6:10 p.m. Tickets are available by calling (501) 664-1555 or online at Travs.com.