Wilson scratched after tweaking left knee

Wilson scratched after tweaking left knee

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- C.J. Wilson was scratched from his scheduled Thursday start against the Cubs after tweaking his left knee during pitchers' fielding practice a couple of days ago, Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Wednesday morning. Sean Newcomb, the 21-year-old left-hander who was drafted 15th overall last June, will start in his place.

Wilson didn't take part in agility drills with his teammates Wednesday morning, but did play catch. Scioscia said Wilson is "fine; we just want to give him a couple days to get over it."

"I think [pitching coach Mike Butcher] has a flexible program of where these guys need to be, and they start early enough to where you can absorb a little bump like this," Scioscia said. "We can even push him back a full five days and he'll be OK."

Some additional notes from Wednesday:

• Scioscia acknowledged that the Angels' lineup against D-backs lefty Robbie Ray could basically be his lineup against lefty starters this year, particularly with David Freese batting cleanup and the left-handed-hitting Matt Joyce moved down to seventh. Joyce could still sit against some tough lefties, though, paving the way for right-handed hitters C.J. Cron and Collin Cowgill to both start.

Garrett Richards did more PFP drills at the Angels' complex on Wednesday and Scioscia said he came out of it feeling fine. The 26-year-old right-hander may get in one more workout, throwing off a mound and doing PFP on the same day, before his Cactus League debut.

"We'll get some clarity here in the last couple days of how he bounces back, where he is and if he's ready for a game or not," Scioscia said.

• The Angels' two back-end relievers are currently out of action. Closer Huston Street wasn't with the team on Wednesday because he was recovering from an illness that began just before game time Tuesday. Setup man Joe Smith has yet to appear in his first game because of "lower leg stiffness." He was slated to throw a bullpen session on Thursday and should pitch in the next three to four days, Scioscia said.

• The Angels announced an inaugural Junior Angels "Care Kits" donation program, which provides assistance and comfort to children in need. The initiative will supply care kits - including an Angels shirt, socks, shoelaces, bracelet and tickets -- to patents of Children's Hospital of Orange County at scheduled player visits throughout the season. More information is at angels.com/juniorangels.

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.