Angels shut down C.J. Wilson following shoulder setback

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Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson had a setback in his recovery from offseason elbow surgery and early spring shoulder problems, with Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reporting that “his status for the first month or two of the regular season [is] in question.”

DiGiovanna writes that Wilson had issues following a bullpen session Saturday and “will be relegated to playing catch” for the foreseeable future. He’ll definitely begin the season on the disabled list and hasn’t even advanced to facing a live hitter yet, so the recovery process is going to take a while.

Wilson is making $20 million this season in the final year of a $70 million contract and with right-hander Jered Weaver also sidelined by health problems the Angels’ rotation is looking very shaky right now. Wilson posted a 3.87 ERA in his first four seasons with the Angels, including a 3.89 ERA in 132 innings last year.

Report: Pirates to convert JB Shuck into two-way player

JB Shuck
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Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports that the Pirates have decided to convert outfielder JB Shuck into a two-way player. Recent comments relayed from the club’s director of player development, Larry Broadway, indicated that the outfielder would be coached in developing his pitching skills while working at Triple-A Indianapolis.

Per Broadway, the change would be enacted to help the veteran outfielder develop some much-needed versatility in the majors, where he’s only ever been limited to outfield and DH responsibilities. Well, except for the two games in which he pitched an inning of relief: once, against the Nationals in a blowout 11-4 loss in 2016, then in a similarly painful loss to the Diamondbacks this past April. During the latter outing, he finished the game with a 13-pitch ninth inning after allowing just one hit and one walk.

Add to that one minor-league outing in 2012, and the 31-year-old Shuck has pitched just three times over the course of his 12-season career in pro ball. While he has three years of experience on the mound from his college days, he’ll need quite a bit of preparation to handle the kind of workload expected from a two-way outfielder/reliever: 20+ innings pitched over a season and 20+ games played as a designated hitter or position player.

Still, his lack of experience doesn’t seem to faze Broadway, at least not this early in the process. There’s no word yet on how soon Shuck would be expected to debut his new skillset on a major-league level.