Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Thursday he has considered batting Vernon Wells in the No. 2 spot, the one ahead of superstar slugger Albert Pujols.
That might sound nuts, considering last year Wells had a .218 batting average and .248 on-base percentage, both major-league worsts among qualified hitters. He doesn't exactly sound like an ideal table setter, but maybe that would change with Pujols looming on deck?
"The best fastball hitters we have and, maybe, in our league . . . you’re talking about Howie [Kendrick], Kendrys Morales, Vernon – these guys are really, really maybe going to be put in a good situation when you have a presence in the middle of the lineup," Scioscia said.
Wells hit just about everywhere other than second last season. He hit third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and ninth. The overwhelming majority of his career at-bats have come in the No. 3 or 4 holes.
Wells said he needed a "do-over," after an awful season, so he worked overhauling his swing this winter with respected hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo. If he is swinging the bat well early and is willing to take walks -- and if the Angels are intent on putting Kendrick in an RBI position -- look for Wells to get some table-setting opportunities. Pujols' presence just might help turn him into the hitter he used to be.
"He can create offense. He runs well. Last year he had some issues trying to get on base and with his batting average. But … he’s definitely a guy to consider if some other options don’t make as much sense," Scioscia said.