Mike Scioscia to pair pitcher Scott Kazmir with catcher Bobby Wilson Wednesday night
Backup catcher Bobby Wilson, who has developed a good rapport with a number of pitchers, will start behind the plate tonight against the Texas Rangers in Angel Stadium.
Scott Kazmir has won four of his last five starts entering Wednesday night, and three of the left-hander's wins -- against Kansas City on June 2, Oakland on June 7 and the Dodgers on June 12 -- have come with Wilson catching. Kazmir has a 2.12 earned-run average in the three games, having allowed four earned runs in 17 innings.
"I don't see a 'personal catcher' situation developing, but Bobby has been doing a great job with all of our pitchers, particularly Scott, so we'll give it another look tonight," Manager Mike Scioscia said. "It's a good day to give Jeff [Mathis, the starting catcher] a blow."
The Angels will face hard-throwing right-hander Omar Beltre, who will be making his major league debut. The Angels struggled against pitchers they had never seen before in 2008 but had better success against them last season. Beltre has a 27-27 career minor league record and 2.29 ERA with 467 strikeouts and 120 walks in 452 innings.
"We know he has a power arm, and like many young pitchers, he might be sensitive to some command issues," Scioscia said. "If you get a pitch to hit, you don't want to miss it. At the same time, you want to make sure he gets balls into good zones.
"We have scouting video, we know what he throws, but until you get into that box, you don't know what he has, what he's trying to do. There are always variables you deal with when you go up against a young pitcher."
Photo: Angels catcher Bobby Wilson (46) is congratulated after hitting a three-run home run in the second inning against the Milwaukee Brewers on June 16. Credit: Gary A. Vasquez / US Presswire