Rangers’ Wilson in Texas, ready for opening day

Texas left-hander C.J. Wilson was already at Rangers Ballpark on

Tuesday, getting extra treatment on his left hamstring and

preparing for his first opening day start.

Wilson came out of his final spring training start after only

two innings Saturday because of tightness in the hamstring. He said

he will be ready Friday when the AL champions open their season at

home against Boston.

”The issue was I had a little bit of tightness the day before

from sprinting, so it was just something residual I just couldn’t

get really rid of that day,” Wilson said. ”The next day was a lot

better, the day after that was a lot of better and today it’s a lot


Wilson threw a 45-pitch bullpen session Monday in Arizona before

flying home to Texas.

”Just very normal. Everything is fine,” he said.

The rest of the Rangers were in Myrtle Beach, S.C., on Tuesday

night for an exhibition game, then play their Triple-A affiliate in

Round Rock, Texas, on Wednesday night. They will have a workout

Thursday at Rangers Ballpark.

”I came here instead of doing the whole barnstorming tour,”

Wilson said. ”Just to get extra treatment and get massages and

kind of be in a little more controlled environment and get used to

the time zone and all of that stuff.”

Wilson was 15-8 with a 3.35 ERA in 33 starts last year, his

first full season as a starter after the former closer made the

transition from the bullpen. He pitched a career-high 204 innings

with 170 strikeouts.

The Rangers, who lost ace left-hander Cliff Lee in free agency,

tabbed Wilson as their opening day starter early in spring

training. Colby Lewis, who won 12 regular-season games in his

return from Japan last season before going 3-0 with a 1.71 ERA in

four postseason starts, will follow Wilson in the rotation.

”I couldn’t have been any happier with the year that he had

last year and the way he took to starting,” said Rangers CEO and

team president Nolan Ryan, the Hall of Famer who pitched a record

27 seasons. ”I’ve seen a maturity in him that I think he is very

comfortable in his role one of our premier starters and he’s

matured into that capacity, so I really expect this year to be even

better than last year.”

Notes: Two former Rangers standouts, outfielder Jeff Burroughs

and right-hander Charlie Hough, will throw ceremonial first pitches

Friday. Hough surely will have to throw a knuckleball. … The

Rangers provided a preview Tuesday of its new 5,040-square-foot HD

video board. ”That’s big!” pitcher Tommy Hunter said looking up

at the board showing highlights of the 2010 AL championship season.

… Friday’s opener is sold out. ”I think it’s actually harder to

get tickets for this game than for any of the playoff games,”

Wilson said. There are only a few tickets left for the second game

Saturday, when the team will be presented its AL championship