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C.J. Wilson is on in his off-day assignment

On a day that most of the Angels take off, the left-hander has a strong outing pitching against minor leaguers.

March 12, 2013|By Kevin Baxter

TEMPE, Ariz. — For most major league veterans, spring training is a pretty low-key affair. All you have to do is get a little work in, break a sweat occasionally, and fine-tune a few things for the regular season.

But even by those standards Tuesday was a relaxing day for left-hander C.J. Wilson, who pitched four innings against a team made up primarily of minor leaguers on what was, for the rest of the Angels, a day off.

"We have to make it like a real game even though we're just facing our own guys," Wilson said. "So I'm trying to go in and kind of get rah-rah and have fun. 'Let's go! Let's beat these Angels!'"

Wilson was effective, striking out seven while giving up two runs. In two previous appearances this spring — pitching against other teams — Wilson had given up three runs and 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings.

The only other pitcher to work Tuesday was right-hander Garrett Richards, who is battling for one of the final spots on the roster. He was hit hard at times, giving up two doubles and four runs. But Manager Mike Scioscia liked some of what he saw.

"Even with his great stuff you're going to have make some pitches," Scioscia said. "And he threw some terrific pitches. Some pitches he threw were really, really nasty. It was a good workout for him."

Catching on

Hank Conger, fighting John Hester for the job of backup catcher, has hurt his cause with some erratic throws this spring. But after a strong workout Monday, he threw out a runner trying to steal second in the intrasquad game.

"The only way you're going to get out of it is just by throwing more," said Conger, who is hitting .412 with a team-high 10 runs batted in. "The worst you can really do is kind of be timid. I'm going to eventually find my release point. So it's not a big deal. It's just trying to find the trigger point now."

Short hops

Although most veterans weren't required to be in camp, Albert Pujols showed up to get some work in and receive medical treatment. He hasn't played in the field since undergoing off-season knee surgery. ... Infielder Bill Hall, who hasn't played a Cactus League game in two weeks because of a tight right quadriceps, ran the bases and then had four at-bats in the intrasquad game. Scioscia said Hall could be back in the lineup by the weekend... Reliever Sean Burnett, shut down last month because of a sore back, could pitch in a game for the first time Wednesday when the Angels play the San Diego Padres in Peoria. The 1 p.m. game will be broadcast on 830 AM.

kevin.baxter@latimes.com

Twitter: @kbaxter11

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