ANAHEIM -- The need for power is just as glaring now as when the Angels signed Russell Branyan. What's less clear is whether he can be part of the solution.
The Angels rank 10th in the American League in both slugging percentage (.394) and home runs (48) entering Friday night and Branyan's primary asset is power (56 home runs between the 2009 and 2010 seasons). Now that Howie Kendrick and Vernon Wells are both healthy, it will prove difficult to get Branyan at-bats since Bobby Abreu now is the primary designated hitter.
Power hitters typically have less value when they play less frequently, since longer swings take longer to lock in.
"It doesn't look like I'm going to get in there every day, which is tough," Branyan said. "But then again, I haven't exactly lit it up since I've been here."
In scattered at-bats since joining the Angels on May 26, Branyan has just three singles (and nine strikeouts) in his 25 at-bats. Manager Mike Scioscia, who is typically less patient with hitters who strike out frequently, has started Branyan once in the last week.
"I knew they hadn't had that big threat," Branyan said. "Maybe I tried to do too much instead of maybe reaching base a little more. I was less patient than I should have been and I've got to fight through that."