2/26/2014 3:04 P.M. ET
Halos bring aboard dietitian/nutritionist to staff
By Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Many around the Angels will say that players came into camp this spring in better shape than they have in a while, and there's a pretty good reason for that.
For the first time, the organization has hired a nutritionist.
Her name is Becci Twombley. She's been serving as director of sports nutrition at USC for the last year and a half, after spending the previous five years at UCLA. The Angels consulted with Twombley this offseason and added her to the staff as a dietitian and nutritionist for the 2014 season.
"We have no doubt she'll change the way we eat, the way we prepare, the way we take care of ourselves, the ability of the player to stay in peak condition through the course of the season," Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said. "The athlete in today's game is wired so much differently in a high-performance-type way, and diet and nutrition makes a big difference."
Twombley has set up menus for Angels players in Major League camp and at the Minor League complex. Over the offseason, she visited with some personally to discuss how they eat, while strength and conditioning specialist T.J. Harrington traveled to work with several players on their conditioning.
"We did a more efficient job of staying in touch with our players, giving them goals from a conditioning perspective, weight perspective," Dipoto said. "They all had targets, they all hit their targets, they all stayed diligent to their program because we helped them manage it. That's the first time that we've done that, and I think it's been very effective."
C.J. aims to make start after avoiding concussion
TEMPE, Ariz. -- If Pedro Martinez weren't so awesome, perhaps Yorvit Torrealba's line drive wouldn't have caught C.J. Wilson on the left side of the head on Tuesday.
"It's my fault," Wilson said Wednesday morning, when asked about the comebacker that drew blood but did not result in a concussion.
"I should've caught the ball. I made a bad pitch. I should've caught it. And that's the same thing I've been saying for years -- if I get hit, it's my fault. I catch plenty of line drives; I just didn't get a lot of sleep the night before. I was watching Pedro Martinez highlights on YouTube, trying to get amped up for my live-BP session. True story. So I got about four hours of sleep, and I just didn't have the reflexes I normally have."
Wilson feels perfectly fine now, and that's what's most important. He stayed away from most of the workouts on Wednesday, but plans to throw a bullpen session on Thursday and will start Saturday's game -- the Angels' second Cactus League contest -- if he comes out of it feeling good.
Upon being hit, Wilson sprung back to his feet, told everyone he was fine and wanted to throw the 10 pitches that remained in his session. But the 33-year-old southpaw was bleeding, the result of what was later deemed an abrasion, and left to undergo a precautionary CT scan.
"The real concern is my hair is OK," joked Wilson, a pitchman for Head & Shoulders. "You sign a hair contract, you really have to be careful about that kind of stuff."
Wilson wasn't pitching with the protective "L" screen in front of him because, as he said, "I can't throw strikes with an 'L' screen."
Most pitchers prefer not to utilize it because it creates a visual that throws them off. Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said the screen wouldn't have helped him anyway, since pitchers have to finish their delivery and have no time to hide behind the net to avoid a comebacker.
As for whether Wilson would consider wearing one of those protective caps that are now available for pitchers?
"Literally, they're terrible," Wilson said. "It's a terrible design. They're huge. They're cumbersome. It's impossible to pitch with one of those on."
Calf strain puts Hamilton on shelf at least two weeks
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Josh Hamilton, who strained his left calf during a baserunning drill on Tuesday afternoon, will be out of action for a minimum of two weeks, Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
"But as of right now," Scioscia said Wednesday morning, "we're very optimistic that he'll get back in, be able to get back in shape and do what he needs to do for the start of the season."
Hamilton was on crutches on Tuesday because he couldn't put any weight on his left foot. The Angels are hopeful that he can start throwing in the next few days to keep his arm in shape, then eventually take some soft-toss to keep his swing going. But, as Scioscia said, "This is going to take weeks; not days."
Asked if he believes Hamilton will get enough Spring Training action to be ready to go by Opening Day on March 31, Scioscia said: "Under the guidelines we've been given, he should, but this thing has to heal on its own terms and we'll just see where this leads."
If Hamilton has to start the season on the disabled list, J.B. Shuck could take his place in left field and the left-handed-hitting Raul Ibanez could take his place in the middle of the lineup, but the Angels are far from considering that.
Hamilton has never missed any time with injuries below his knee. Last year, he played in 151 games -- his most since 2008 -- but sported an uncharacteristic .250/.307/.432 in the first of a five-year, $125 million contract. Over the offseason, though, he got back to his customary 240 pounds. And this spring, many in camp were raving about how good his swing looked.
Whenever he gets back, Scioscia is confident Hamilton can pick up right where he left off.
"He got a lot of the fundamental workout out of the way this week," Scioscia said. "His arm is in shape. Everything except for the calf was looking good. He was running well. He got enough work on the offensive end to build up some of the things that he needs to build up."
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.