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Remember when C.J. Wilson was a RoughRider? The Newport Beach native pitched at Dr Pepper Ballpark over the span of three different seasons: 2003, ’05, and ’06. Overall with the ‘Riders, Wilson went 7-13 with a 4.39 ERA.
During his minor league career, C.J. made 95 appearances, 70 starts. As a member of the RoughRiders, he spent the majority of the time working in the rotation (43 G/38 S).
I wonder how many RoughRiders’ fans, if any, who watched Wilson here could have ever predicted that his stuff would progress so much that he would become the ace of the Rangers’ staff. Over his 43 career Double-A appearances, the lefty walked 66, fanned 155, and allowed 212 hits over 201.0 innings pitched (9.5 H/9).
Certainly his BB/K ratio was solid, and even if you look at his hits/9 innings, it was slightly was better than 2010 Texas League Pitcher of the Year, Blake Beavan. The big right-hander surrendered 231 hits in 217 2/3 innings (9.6 H/9). Anyone who saw Blake pitch knows that he threw strikes better than almost anyone in the Texas League, and the result was that he gave up some hits.
Today Wilson is opposed by a kid who has hardly any big league time on his resume. Matt Moore has just over nine innings of major league experience under his belt, but is Joe Maddon’s choice for a Game 1 starter. At 22-years-old, the left-hander entered the 2011 season as the Rays’ No. 2 overall prospect as ranked by Baseball America. The same publication also said he has the best fastball and curveball in the system.
Moore made his major league debut 16 days ago and has one big league start and three appearances to his name. According to ESPN’s Stats and Info, Moore’s one career start is the fewest by a Game 1 starer in MLB post-season history.
For what it’s worth, it should be noted that Moore struck out 131 and walked only 28 in 18 starts (102. 1 IP) with Double-A Montgomery.
Should be a fun one this afternoon from the Ballpark in Arlington. I’m grateful I was able to snag a ticket to today’s game and will be sure to get some pics to post in the coming days.
Enjoy the game,
Photos courtesy of Getty Images and CBSSports