Before I even begin to talk about the performance of C.J. Wilson tonight and as a starter overall, I want you to think back a year from now. C.J. Wilson was pitching out of the pen for the Rangers as a 8 inning setup guy for Frank Francisco and Zack Greinke had just completed a 5-0 April on his way to recieving the 2009 American League Cy Award. A year later things have changed dramactically.
Coming into spring training there was a competition between several players for the fifth starting position. Since the other four spots had been already filled. Scott Feldman was going to be the anchor of the Rotation, with newcomer Rich Harden assuming the third position. Colby Lewis had returned from Japan to be the third starter and Tommy Hunter was going to be the fourth before getting injured in spring training and not being ready to start the season.
Since the Hunter was injured there were two spots left in the rotation and the fifth spot was certainly going to go to C.J. Wilson, so he moved up to the fourth slot. Matt Harrison then broke the rotation as the fifth starter and the Rangers rotation was set once the regular season started.
Now we are in May of 2010 and the Rangers have only lost once this month in seven games leading the division with a record of 16-14 with the Oakland Athletics only one game back at a record of 15-15. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim who are normally the division leaders currently have a 13-18 record.
Now lets take a look at Starter C.J. Wilson, so far this season he has 3-1 record and has two complete games in six starts this season. One third of Wilson’s starts this year have been complete games. Phillies starter Roy Halladay has 3 complete games in 7 starts, so Wilson’s two complete games are pretty good. Wilson has a 1.51 ERA (Earned Run Average) so far this season, Halladay has a 1.45 era, so for Wilson’s first year as a starter is beginning to look impressive.
Zack Greinke is still searching for a win in 2010 and he now has a record almost complete opposite of his April 2009 record at 0-4. In seven starts he has given up 3 earned runs or less and has only recieved an average of 2.4 runs from the Royals offense in his starts. So no Greinke is not pitching bad, the Royals are just not playing great. If Greinke were on a team like the Rangers who could provide him more offense he could be 5-0 again. So essentially his poor record is not his fault.
C.J. Wilson is now tied with a team lead among starters with Colby Lewis at three wins each. The team leader in wins is Frank Francisco with a 4-3 record, he has greatly improved since being removed from the closer position in early April. The Rangers are looking better each day now with a 16-14 record leading the West, so maybe the early expectations of the front office put on the players will actually show some results and give Michael Young his first taste of postseason baseball after being with the Rangers since 2000.