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Angels' Vernon Wells to have surgery on thumb

The left fielder, who will have a torn ligament in his right thumb repaired Tuesday, is expected to be out eight to 10 weeks. Outfielder Ryan Langerhans also is put on the disabled list.

May 21, 2012|By Mike DiGiovanna

OAKLAND — What seemed like a routine slide into second base turned into a major injury for Vernon Wells, who will undergo surgery Tuesday to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb, a procedure that will sideline the Angels left fielder for eight to 10 weeks.

"He thought it popped out and back in — that happens a lot, and guys usually work through it," Manager Mike Scioscia said of Wells, who was injured in the second inning of Sunday's 3-2 loss to San Diego. "But the next inning, there was no chance of him swinging a bat, and we knew it was significant."

Wells was batting .244 with six homers and 12 runs batted in, but he seemed to find his stroke last week with eight hits, including two homers and four RBIs in 23 at-bats.

"He was taking some walks, getting into better counts and putting better swings on the ball," Scioscia said. "Any time you lose a guy who is showing some signs he's getting back into his game, it's unfortunate. But you have to have depth."

The Angels had so much outfield depth in April that the hottest hitter in their current lineup, Mike Trout, didn't make the team out of spring training.

But with right fielder Torii Hunter beginning his second week on the restricted list to deal with the arrest of his teenage son, reserve Ryan Langerhans (separated right shoulder) joining Wells on the disabled list Monday and reserve Bobby Abreu released in late April, that depth is being tested.

Until Hunter returns — "Hopefully, this week," Scioscia said — the Angels will start Trout in left, Peter Bourjos in center and Mark Trumbo in right. Outfielder Kole Calhoun was called up from triple-A Salt Lake on Monday, and the speedy 24-year-old will serve as a reserve.

The Angels, who used six relievers in Sunday's 13-inning loss, also called up right-hander Bobby Cassevah, who was 1-0 with a 6.75 earned-run average at Salt Lake after missing spring training because of a shoulder injury.

Wave runner

Calhoun was on his way to dinner in Omaha on Sunday night when he was informed of his first big league promotion. Monday, he arrived in the Oakland Coliseum clubhouse to find his locker next to that of Albert Pujols.

"It's been an unbelievable turn of events in the last 24 hours," Calhoun said. "I'm just riding the wave right now."

Calhoun hit .296 with five homers, 14 doubles and 31 RBIs in 43 games at Salt Lake. He bypassed double A after hitting .324 with 22 homers and 99 RBIs at Class-A Inland Empire last season and .354 with the Angels this spring.

Short hops

Reliever LaTroy Hawkins threw Monday without a custom splint on his right pinkie for the first time since he broke the finger May 6. He remains on course to return in early June. … To make room on the 40-man roster for Calhoun, the Angels moved reliever Michael Kohn to the 60-day disabled list.

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