Angels activate Vernon Wells from disabled list

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As expected, the Angels activated Vernon Wells from the disabled list earlier today. He has been sidelined for nearly a month with a right groin strain.

Wells was cleared to return after playing in back-to-back rehab games with High-A Inland Empire on Sunday and Monday. The Angels aren’t exactly easing him back into action, as he’ll make the start in center field tonight against the Rays, according to Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register.

Wells was batting just .183/.224/.303 with four homers and 13 RBI over his first 152 plate appearances this season, so the injury might have been the best thing that could have happened to him. No, he’s never going to be worth the ridiculous $81 million sum that the Angels will pay him over the next four seasons, but he could be an improvement for an offense that has scored three runs or less in six consecutive games.

Brewers promote David Stearns from GM to president of baseball operations

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It used to be that the top dog in a team’s baseball operations department was the general manager. That has changed over the past several years with some combination of title inflation, a genuine addition of supervisory layers and, on some level, employe poaching insurance leading to the top dog now being called, usually, a “president of baseball operations.”

Brewers’ general manager David Stearns is the latest to assume that tile, as the club just announced that he has been promoted to Milwaukee’s president of baseball operations. He has also received a contract extension of unknown length.

Not a big shock given how well the Brewers did in 2018, winning the NL Central title and playing in the NLCS. It’s also worth noting — with a nod to that “employee poaching insurance” item above — that Stearns has drawn some interest from other organizations. It’s thus not unfair to see the promotion is both a thanks for a job well done and a means of keeping other teams’ hands off of him, as employees are generally not given permission to interview for lateral moves, but are given permission to interview for promotions.

The Mudville Nine may have wanted to steal him from Milwaukee, but for Stearns to get a promotion from where he is now would require the creation of some other lofty title.