Angels outfielder Vernon Wells spends some time in the dugout while injured… (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles…)
DETROIT—Angels Manager Mike Scioscia provided a small—but important—piece of insight to the team’s plan for Vernon Wells when the outfielder returns from a thumb injury that has sidelined him since May 21.
Scioscia would not say what kind of role Wells, the team’s starting left fielder when he got hurt, will have, but he did say his playing time will not come at the expense of All-Star outfielders Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo.
“I think Vernon understands the situation,” Scioscia said. “With the way Mike and Mark are playing, they’re going to be out there every day, and we’ll see how everything else folds in.”
Trout entered Wednesday with an American League-leading .355 average and 30 stolen bases, to go with a .408 on-base percentage, 13 homers, 44 runs batted in and 64 runs. Trumbo had a league-leading .634 slugging percentage to go with a .311 average and team-leading 26 homers and 65 RBIs.
But there was still a concern among fans that the team’s massive financial commitment to Wells, who has two more years and $42 million left on his contract, and Scioscia’s loyalty to veteran players would result in Wells nudging Trumbo or Trout from the lineup.
With Scioscia’s comment Wednesday, it’s clear that Wells, who will begin a minor league rehabilitation assignment with triple-A Salt Lake on Friday, will be sharing time with designated hitter Kendrys Morales and spelling right fielder Torii Hunter when he returns.
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