Brian Nicholson, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — In his first at bat Sunday afternoon, Vernon Wells slugged his first home run in a Bees uniform, likely sparking a firestorm of debates regarding his place and worth to the surging Los Angeles Angels.
The central focus is where exactly can Wells be inserted to the Angels lineup, which will most likely be sharing time with designated hitter Kendrys Morales and right fielder Torii Hunter when the current rehab assignment ends.
In three games with Salt Lake, Wells has gone 5-for-11 with three stolen bases including a homer in Sunday's 10-5 loss.
The torn right thumb ligament that sidelined Wells back in May should no longer be of concern, as suggested by Wells.
"I don't think my thumb's going to be an issue," noted Wells. "It's just a matter of how my body feels playing everyday and getting back into baseball.
Wells saw action through seven innings Sunday afternoon, and is expected to be with Salt Lake during the current home stand through Friday.
After Saturday night's game, Wells mentioned that playing during the daytime would be another test on his body. A 2-for-4 performance with a stolen base, an RBI and round-tripper Sunday afternoon was a welcome sight for someone striving to return to the MLB level.
"I think the last couple of innings caught up to me just standing around for a little bit out there," admitted Wells. " I feel like I was running well, and everything feels normal so it's a good sign."
The days are chipping away as to when Angels manager Mike Scioscia will have the daunting task of shuffling an active roster full of talent, including former Bees slugger and first time MLB all-star Mike Trout. Wells summed it up to the tune that should make Angels fans, at the very least, content with the pleasure of his company in the clubhouse.
"It's just a matter of giving (Scioscia) as many different tangibles as he can have," commented Wells. "As a manager when your able to mix and match and do different things, and have guys that can come in and produce you can't ask for anymore."
Wells went as far to mention the postseason, which is just around the corner and a primary focus coming on the backside of the all-star break.
"I know what my role is going to be, it's just a matter of helping your team win, and no matter what, your role is to help your ball club get to the postseason," explained Wells. "That's the only goal, and is the only thing that matters at this point."
NOTEBOOK: Luis Jimenez also struck gold in his first at bat Sunday, sending his ninth home run of the season over the left-field wall. Jimenez finished the day 1-for-3 with an RBI and run scored.
PEACE OUT: Paul McAnutly has been transferred by the Angels to Double-A Arkansas, where he will play but also double as a part-time coach. McAnulty was hitting .247 for the Bees with 23 doubles, 15 home runs and 56 RBIs.
ATTENDANCE: Just 4,135 baseball fans enjoyed a day at Spring Mobile Ballpark.
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