Maddon weighs in on Wilson's starts

Maddon weighs in on Wilson's starts

Maddon weighs in on Wilson's starts
BALTIMORE -- C.J. Wilson started for the Angels Friday night against his former teammates, the Rangers, but after a one-hour, 56-minute rain delay -- and just five batters -- Wilson was lifted.

But not to waste the talents of one of the American League's top lefties, Wilson started again on Saturday afternoon. He threw 22 pitches Friday night and took the loss. Saturday he threw 5 2/3 innings and picked up the win, throwing 93 pitches.

Rays manager Joe Maddon called it "a tough one" when pondering whether the Rays would ever pull a Wilson-like move with one of their starters. Ultimately, Maddon concluded: "I would bet no."

The Rays manager did note that James Shields would be the prime candidate if such a move were ever allowed by the Rays.

Shields smiled when asked about doing what Wilson did.

"I don't see why pitchers can't do that," Shields said.

He was asked what the reaction would be by the Rays' front office in the event of such an occurrence.

"It probably wouldn't go so well," Shields said. "Not up in the front office. There's no need to give Andrew [Friedman, executive vice president of baseball operations] a heart attack. I'm definitely capable of doing it."

Major League teams are particularly cautious about how they handle their starting pitching. Rays starter Jeff Niemann said he wouldn't mind them not being so cautions at times.

"But it's always tough to make decisions like that because if you do get hurt or something goes wrong, then it's really easy to question, why didn't we stick to the routine or plan," Niemann said. "But sometimes you feel like you can pitch on a day's rest."

Niemann referred to his college days when pitching for Rice.

"That was part of the deal," Niemann said. "You started on Friday. You threw out of the bullpen on Sunday. You start on Tuesday. It was just win the game, do what you need to do."

Niemann conceded that some over-thinking goes into the handling of starting pitchers at times.

"But it's been played like this for a while," Niemann said. "There's a reason we're starters and there's bullpen guys. We're all highly trained for the roles we're in. There are reasons for it. There are arguments for it both ways I think."