Vernon Wells activated from disabled list

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It went largely unnoticed in the excitement of the Zack Greinke deal, but the Angels activated Vernon Wells from the disabled list prior to last night’s game against the Rays.

Wells had been out since May 21 after fracturing his right thumb while stealing a base. He went 8-for-26 (.308) with two home runs, a double and three RBI in seven games during his recent minor league rehab assignment with Triple-A Salt Lake.

Wells didn’t play in last night’s game and will have to get used to sitting on the bench regularly. According to Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register, Angels manager Mike Scioscia plans to use him in place of Kendrys Morales in the DH spot against left-handed pitching and in the outfield when when someone needs a day off.

Wells would naturally prefer to be in the lineup on an everyday basis, but he’s ready to accept to his new diminished role.

“At first, it was kind of hard,” Wells said. “Now — it just is what it is. You go out when you get a chance to play and approach the game like you did when you were a kid. Go out and have fun, try to help the team win.

“It’ll be different. Just as with anything as this game goes along, you make adjustments.”

Wells was batting .242/.282/.422 with six homers, 12 RBI through 38 games this season prior to the injury and has a .669 OPS in 671 plate appearances dating back to the start of last season. The 33-year-old is still owed $21 million in both 2013 and 2014.

Kyle Schwarber is “probably, arguably” in The Best Shape of His Life

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Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.

Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.

To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.