What to do with Vernon Wells?

June, 1, 2012
6/01/12
5:32
PM PT
ANAHEIM -- Since he went on the disabled list May 21, veteran Vernon Wells has seen Mike Trout start to produce at the level everyone predicted for him. He has seen Mark Trumbo continue to be the most productive bat in the Angels' lineup.

He's aware his role might be different when he comes off the DL, probably some time in mid- to late-July.

"I think there's still a spot for me in left. Trout can go back to center and we'll just rotate and I'll be a cheerleader half the time and play some nights," Wells said. "I think that's the thing, once everybody gets a chance to be in the lineup, it's just a matter of going out and helping the team win. It'll all play itself out. I can't predict what's going to happen two months from now."

It will be a tricky proposition when Wells returns. He was batting .244 in 38 games before he tore a ligament in his right thumb, though some of his most productive weeks as an Angel preceded the injury. The Angels acquired him in a trade from the Toronto Blue Jays 16 months ago and he batted .218 with a .245 on-base percentage and 25 home runs last season. The team still owes him $56 million through 2014.

That would make for an expensive bench player.

On Friday night, Trumbo shifted to left field, where he was making just his fifth start of the season. Trumbo played right field while Torii Hunter was on the restricted list for two weeks.

Here are lineups for the opener of a three-game series against first-place Texas:

Texas
Ian Kinsler 2B
Elvis Andrus SS
Josh Hamilton CF
Adrian Beltre 3B
Michael Young DH
David Murphy LF
Nelson Cruz RF
Mike Napoli C
Mitch Moreland 1B

Angels
Mike Trout CF
Alberto Callaspo 3B
Albert Pujols 1B
Kendrys Morales DH
Mark Trumbo LF
Torii Hunter RF
Howie Kendrick 2B
Erick Aybar SS
John Hester C

Mark Saxon

ESPNLosAngeles.com
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Mike Trout
BA HR RBI R
.305 24 76 72
OTHER LEADERS
HRM. Trout 24
RBIM. Trout 76
RM. Trout 72
OPSM. Trout .992
WJ. Weaver 11
ERAG. Richards 2.62
SOG. Richards 139