Wilson encouraged by recovery progress

Wilson encouraged by recovery progress

ANAHEIM -- C.J. Wilson's range of motion in his left elbow has improved significantly since he underwent surgery to remove bone spurs and bone chips on Aug. 20, the Angels' left-hander said before the Angels' 3-2 win over the Dogers on Wednesday night.

"My arm is in better condition now than it was, probably, in the last five years, in terms of the angles that I have at this point," Wilson said in the Angels clubhouse, demonstrating how far he could bend and extend his arm.

He said he's been doing grip-strength exercises with his left hand, but he can't do any upper-body lifting or, of course, throw.

Sitting at his locker, Wilson was wearing Kinesio Tape, which he said is meant to push inflammation out of his elbow. He also has what he calls a "Frankenstein brace" -- a brace that can force his elbow to full extension or flexion, to help his range of motion increase in both directions. He wears it for about six-to-eight hours a day, and tries to wear it when he sleeps.

"It's intolerable for most people past a certain amount of time or a certain amount of tension," Wilson said. "Considering what I went through previously with my elbow, I can tolerate it a lot more, so I just keep going."

Worth noting

• Right-hander Matt Shoemaker, who was scratched from his start Monday with a right forearm strain, is starting to increase the intensity of his throwing and played catch from 120 feet on Wednesday. He said he'll probably have to play catch from longer than that, at his full long-toss distance, before he moves on to possibly throwing a bullpen session. Shoemaker still does not have a timetable for his return.

• Manager Mike Scioscia said Wednesday that he's happy with the defense David Murphy has provided in left field. The Angels originally intended Murphy to serve as their designated hitter against right-handers, but with Albert Pujols limited to DH for the time being, Murphy has had to play outfield.

"Murphy's covered the ground we need," Scioscia said. "He's not gonna cover as much as Shane [Victorino] or Collin [Cowgill], but he's made the plays that we need out there."

• Despite the Angels running out of time to make up ground in the playoff standings, Scioscia said he doesn't want the players to feel any additional "sense of urgency" or to place extra importance on individual games. He said that's always been the Angels' philosophy.

"You should be playing the game tonight the same way you play a game in Spring Training -- aggressively, with the same reads, playing with the same freedom," Scioscia said. "You should be playing a pennant race game that way; you get into a playoff game it's the same feeling. "

David Adler is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.