The Angels’ outfield logjam is suddenly a lot less complicated.
Angels’ television broadcaster Victor Rojas reports that Vernon Wells will have surgery tomorrow to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right thumb. He can resume baseball activities in 8-10 weeks, which means he’ll likely be out until around the start of August.
Of course, this injury is no back-breaker for the Angels. Even as Torii Hunter remains away from the team following his son’s arrest in a sexual assault case, Angels manager Mike Scioscia can play Mike Trout, Peter Bourjos and Mark Trumbo in the outfield on most nights. Not bad. Not bad at all.
Wells, 33, is hitting .242/.282/.422 with six homers, 12 RBI and a .702 OPS over 142 plate appearances this season. He’s making $21 million per season through 2014.
Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area hints that the Giants may be done with outfielder Hunter Pence. It’s not clear just how seriously the club is contemplating such a decision, but there are six days remaining on Pence’s rehab assignment, at which point they’ll be able to recall him, reassign him to the minors or release him.
The 35-year-old outfielder has struggled to make a full recovery after spraining his right thumb during the first week of the season. Pence bounced back for a 17-game run with the Giants in April, during which he slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 with one double and one stolen base in 61 plate appearances, but was eventually placed on the disabled list with recurring soreness in his finger. He currently sports a promising .318/.359/.388 batting line with four extra-base hits (including a grand slam) over 92 PA in Triple-A Sacramento.
Despite his recent resurgence in Triple-A, the Giants may not need the additional outfield depth just yet. Mac Williamson, who was recalled in the wake of Pence’s DL assignment, has already cemented the starting role in left field and is off to a strong start at the plate as well. Of course, if the Giants decide to say a premature goodbye to their veteran outfielder (who, it should be said, helped them to two World Series championships over the last seven seasons), it’ll cost them the remaining balance on his $18.5 million salary for 2018.