Friday, April 8, 2011
Is Vernon Wells trying too hard?
By Mark Saxon
The Angels are going to have to live with some youthful mistakes this season, but one of their most veteran players has been costing them most dearly so far.
Left fielder Vernon Wells has yet to get comfortable in an Angels uniform, it would seem. You can't put the Angels offensive struggles strictly on Wells -- they're batting .208 with runners in scoring position as a team -- but they need him to start carrying his share.
Wells, the Angels' No. 5 hitter and highest-paid player, has three hits in 31 at-bats (.097).
It's not as if he hasn't had opportunities to drive in runs. The top of the Angels' order -- Maicer Izturis, Howie Kendrick and Bobby Abreu --are hitting a combined .405 with a .608 on-base percentage when they hit 1-2-3.
Wells stranded three runners with a pair of strikeouts against rookie Kyle Drabek in the 3-2 loss Friday. The Angels acquired Wells from the Blue Jays for Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera in January.
"Whether it's because he's on a new team or what, he sees a lot of talent on the field and he knows how important it is for us to have his contributions and he wants to get it yesterday," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's just not in a comfort zone in the box yet. He will be."