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What to do with Vernon Wells?

6/1/2012

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