ANAHEIM -- You can never quite tell with these things.
You suspect his body is finally feeling better after his spring training was disrupted by a strained hamstring and his season was torn asunder by a strained groin.
You assume he likes hitting in a little warmer weather.
You imagine that it takes a while before you feel comfortable in a new environment, surrounded by new co-workers and new bosses.
But you can never really tell with these things. Why did Vernon Wells look so bad for all those weeks and now suddenly looks as dangerous as ever? Wells is no longer slumping, that's for sure, after his four-hit night in the Angels' 11-5 win over the Washington Nationals on Tuesday.
His low point came at the end of May, when he was nursing that groin injury and his .179 batting average on the disabled list. When you start as slowly as he did, you pass little milestones. He passed one on June 19 when he got his average over the .200 line for the first time since Opening Day.
Now, hitting a quasi-respectable .219 he's not looking back.
Wells has mashed six home runs in just a couple of weeks, and he seems to be infusing this entire lineup with newfound energy. It's amazing how that works. One key veteran gets in gear and the whole machine grumbles to life.
Mike Scioscia used to chat with Wells around the batting cage occasionally when the Angels were playing the Toronto Blue Jays. He gained a sense for what gets him going and keeps it going. Now, he's seeing it in action for more than a few games at a time and it's helping pull this Angels season back from a cliff.
"He's getting the head out much easier. He's not fighting himself," Scioscia said.
Wells said his approach has improved from the jumpy, overswinging early days with the Angels. He's doing more by trying to do less.
"The thing with this game is, sometimes the more you try to do, the worse it gets," Wells said. "It's just a matter of getting back to basics, getting in good hitting positions and just letting my hands do the work."