Say what you will about Vernon Wells, whose first six weeks as an Angel were entirely forgettable, but you can't say he's easily replaceable.
The Angels put Wells on the 15-day disabled list after Monday's 8-0 loss to the Chicago White Sox and, afterward, they spoke about his loss as if he were leading the league in hitting, not mired near the bottom with a .183 average.
"He's a veteran presence, man, and we need him in the lineup," Torii Hunter said. "Kendry Morales and him both out, man, that's killing us. But we have some young guys who are stepping up and playing the game the right way. We've just got to get me going, huh?"
Groin injuries are notoriously slow to heal and it's easy to envision Wells' injury stretching for at least a month. The Angels have very few options for left field. They figure to use Bobby Abreu, 37, for the majority of playing time, but the rest of their options comprise a short list. Second baseman Alexi Amarista will get some more playing time there, as will whatever player the Angels call up from Triple-A Salt Lake on Tuesday -- probably either Reggie Willits or Chris Pettit.
The best offensive solution is to use Mark Trumbo in the outfield and start Howie Kendrick at third base, but Trumbo isn't comfortable playing left.
Wells' bat was showing some signs of life, at last. His fielding had helped the Angels turn into one of the tightest outfields in baseball. Abreu's range is limited and Amarista's lack of experience could become an issue as he gets more exposure.
The most intriguing option is playing at Double-A, but manager Mike Scioscia quickly dismissed the notion of recalling top prospect Mike Trout, 19. These aren't the right circumstances and rushing prime talent is rarely a good idea.