Vernon Wells only spent two days in the Class-A California League, both spent in wind-blown Lancaster. But he came back with a healthy respect for the major-league lifestyle. "It makes you appreciate what we have up here," Wells said before returning to the Angels' lineup Tuesday night against the Rays. He went 0 for 3 with a strikeout in his first game since suffering a groin-muscle injury May 9. Despite his .183 average through the first five weeks of the season, the Angels actually started to feel the same way about Wells. In his absence, the team went 10-16, averaged 3.3 runs per game (down from 4.1 when he was injured) and went from four games over .500 and a game up in the AL West to two games under .500 and 4 1/2 games behind the Texas Rangers in the division. Whatever dubious cause-and-effect relationship there might be there, the return of Wells and Howie Kendrick over the weekend has at least given Angels manager Mike Scioscia more options when he fills out his lineup card. He took advantage of that Tuesday, giving Maicer Izturis and Peter Bourjos the night off. Izturis has lost 40 points off his batting average (down to .289) in the past three weeks. Bourjos has batted .186 since the end of April. "It's a little shuffled up with Vernon coming back in," Scioscia said. "There are some things you want to keep in place. I think some of it is a function of giving Izzy and Peter the day off more than shaking it up. "Shaking it up is something actually we've talked about and there are some things we might look at when we have those guys (Izturis and Bourjos) back in there." Wells made his return batting seventh, the lowest he has been in the Angels' order. Scioscia said he wanted to give Wells an opportunity to ease back into the lineup without the pressure to produce in the middle of the lineup.
Wells glad for return to Anaheim
Orange County Register | Jun 8