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Blister gets the best of Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson

He bows out of Tuesday's All-Star game because of a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand but will still take part in festivities. White Sox pitcher Jake Peavy takes his place.

July 09, 2012|By Mike DiGiovanna, Los Angeles Times
  • C.J. Wilson reacts after being pulled in the sixth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays.
C.J. Wilson reacts after being pulled in the sixth inning against the Toronto… (Aaron Vincent Elkaim / Associated…)

C.J. Wilson is beginning to understand how Ringo Starr felt when the Beatles drummer, worn out after the 18th take of "Helter Skelter," flung his sticks across the studio and screamed, "I've got blisters on my fingers!"

Wilson had to bow out of Tuesday's All-Star game because of a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand. The Angels left-hander, who has battled blister problems for years, was replaced on the American League roster by Chicago White Sox right-hander Jake Peavy.

"I can't begin to explain how frustrating it is to have an issue with a tiny little part of your body," said Wilson, who is 9-5 with a 2.43 earned-run average. "You can pitch around a sore back, a bad heel or calf strain. I've done all that before. But the most influential part of your delivery is how you grip the ball."

Wilson, who took the loss in last year's All-Star game when he gave up a three-run homer to Prince Fielder, will take part in All-Star festivities in Kansas City.

He said his current blister problem is "more or less" the same as one he had in a May 27 game in Seattle. Wilson recovered in time to make his next start.

But in a July 1 game in Toronto, the nail on Wilson's middle finger snapped in half. In his last start, against the Baltimore Orioles on Friday, the nail on his index finger snapped.

"You're always twisting around the ball, trying to find that spot where you can hold it and it's not going to create some kind of friction or a blister," said Wilson, who purchased a laser machine to treat blisters.

"It's not disappointing" to miss the All-Star game, he said. "It's just a logical decision. I have a job, and that's to perform for the Angels, so I can't really focus on other stuff. I'm not effective if I'm dealing with this, so who am I helping?"

The only disappointment for Wilson, who expects to make his first start after the break, is that teammate Ernesto Frieri, who has not given up a run in 261/3 innings and has 11 saves, was not chosen to take his place.

"I voted for Ernie I don't know how many hundreds of times," Wilson said, referring to fan balloting for the final All-Star spots. "I feel like his numbers speak for themselves."

Short hops

Albert Pujols started at designated hitter for the second straight game Sunday, but Manager Mike Scioscia said the first baseman, who hit a two-run homer in the third inning, has no physical ailments. … Jered Weaver, 10-1 with a 1.96 ERA, left Angel Stadium on Sunday afternoon and headed to the airport for a flight to Kansas City not knowing whether he would make his second straight All-Star game start. "I haven't heard anything," he said. "It would be nice to throw an inning no matter when it is." According to media reports Sunday night, the Detroit Tigers' Justin Verlander will get the start … To make roster room for pitcher Brad Mills, the Angels optioned right-hander Eric Hurley back to triple-A Salt Lake before Sunday's game.

mike.digiovanna@latimes.com

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