What is the Angels’ ‘greatest advantage’ to trading Vernon Wells?

Vernon Wells

Vernon Wells couldn’t be moved easily for a fifth outfielder (Associated Press photo)

 

With six days left before Opening Day, the Angels have 36 players on their 40-man roster. Brad Mills, Bobby Cassevah, Steve Geltz and now Vernon Wells have all left camp one way or another.

That means four players have a way of working their way onto the Angels’ roster, including some who will start the season in the majors. That was by design, general manager Jerry Dipoto said Tuesday.

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Josh Hamilton seems very comfortable here. As in, ‘Here Josh, use my bat’ comfortable.

Josh Hamilton

For his first day playing a game in an Angels uniform, Josh Hamilton did not bring enough bats.

Hamilton had three bats when the day began Tuesday. He broke one in batting practice. The other two broke in the game. When he looked down to see a crack in his lumber after fouling a pitch off in the fifth inning, at least he had a contingency plan in place.

“I told (Mark Trumbo) before the game, If I break one I’m going to come and get yours,” Hamilton said.

The bat broke, and Trumbo obliged.

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Cubs 11, Angels (SS) 2: Postgame thoughts.

Associated Press

TEMPE, Ariz. — Jerome Williams knows his place on the Los Angeles Angels’ pitching staff. His job is to be ready for any role necessary.

Making his first spring training start since 2007, Williams allowed a home run to Luis Valbuena but little else Saturday as an Angels split squad was beaten 11-2 by the Chicago Cubs.

“I got the first homer out of the way,” Williams said. “It was a curve. (Valbuena) had to go down to get it and he did.”

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Angels spring training preview: Outfielders

Peter Bourjos

Is there a more talented collection of outfielders than the Angels’ Mike Trout, Peter Bourjos and Josh Hamilton? Maybe in Los Angeles. Maybe in Cleveland.

Regardless, the starting three in Anaheim are rather enviable. The glaring issues: New center fielder Peter Bourjos batted just .220 in a platoon situation last year, fourth outfielder Vernon Wells has hit .222 since coming to Anaheim, and there isn’t much depth after that. The NRIs in this group don’t pose a serious threat to make the opening-day roster, but one or more could move up with an outstanding spring. Otherwise it’s a long dropoff from the starters to the bench.

Here’s what to watch for in spring:

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Daily Distractions: On Mark Trumbo’s case for batting second, plus some Angels links.

Mark TrumboTurns out the question of who should bat second in the Angels’ lineup has some shelf life.

Related to our recent poll and post comes this thought, which Buster Olney addressed Thursday on his blog for ESPN.com: If you’re going to use the number-two slot in the Angels’ lineup to allow a good-but-struggling hitter to see more fastballs, why not Mark Trumbo? Writes Olney:

If you’re thinking that Mark Trumbo might be a candidate to hit second, keep in mind that he was slightly above average against fastballs (relative to all of MLB): .280 BA, .843 OPS, which ranked in the 57th and 64th percentile, respectively, last season. Trumbo increasingly struggled as the season progressed, which coincides with the decreased percentage of fastballs he saw month to month:

April: 52.7 percent
May: 51.9 percent
June: 50.4 percent
July: 49.0 percent
Aug: 45.3 percent
Sept: 43.5 percent

There’s more nuance to the formula than a batter’s simple ability to hit a fastball. But it’s an interesting argument for Trumbo.

Some links to send you into the weekend:

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