Wilson developing rapport with backup Conger
MINNEAPOLIS -- From 2008-12, C.J. Wilson threw to 14 different catchers. Sound like a lot? Count 'em: Adam Melhuse, Gerald Laird, Kevin Richardson, Ivan Rodriguez, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Max Ramirez, Bengie Molina, Matt Treanor, Yorvit Torrealba, Taylor Teagarden, Mike Napoli, Bobby Wilson, John Hester and Chris Iannetta.
He may have a special connection with No. 15: Hank Conger.
It's nothing against Iannetta, who has established a good rapport with everyone on the staff and Wilson has no problems throwing with, but the left-hander feels like he's established a bond with his backup, even though the two haven't spent much time together.
"With Chris as the starter, I think he has a harder job," Wilson said. "Me, I have a very odd process. I think it's different from most starting pitchers. Hank catches me in bullpens, in between starts. And our personalities are very similar, at least in the locker room -- we're from the same city, we like the same stuff, we listen to the same music, we eat the same food."
How much that actually translates on the field is impossible to determine, but Wilson talked in spring about how well the two work together. And when Conger caught him in a regular-season game for the first time on Sunday, Wilson had his best outing, pitching six innings of one-run ball in a win over the Astros.
"I don't really know what it is," Wilson said of Conger," I just like throwing to him."
But asked if he'd consider pairing Conger with Wilson exclusively, Angels manager Mike Scioscia said: "I don't think we're at that point."
Last year, stats showed Wilson worked best with Hester, who he posted a 2.80 ERA in 11 starts with. He had a 4.70 ERA in eight starts with Bobby Wilson and a 4.21 ERA in 15 starts with Iannetta.
"I like throwing to Chris, too, because I know he's really prepared, does a lot of video, and I feel like he has a little different takes on guys, especially guys I'm not familiar with," Wilson said. "At the end of the day, it's really up to the manager to determine who catches who and who doesn't catch. I just go out there and try to do the same thing anyway, which is call my own game and all that stuff. I don't think I'm at that status as a pitcher where I get to have a guy who just catches me."