Naturally SABR heads and WAR proponents a like will surmise that with Vernon Wells and his -0.3 WAR headed to the disabled list , the Angels are more than likely to see an improvement in performance by whoever takes his place. While this could be true, that sentiment is largely contingent on how Mike Scioscia decides to fill in for Wells during his absence. Scioscia’s unwavering unconditional love for Jeff Mathis could see him do something crazy and move Hank Conger into the DH role, pushing Bobby Abreu to LF which would allow Scioscia to start Mathis virtually everyday behind the plate. Another nightmare scenario would see Scioscia making the equally absurd move of placing the newly called up Reggie Willits (and his 0 career home runs) in left field everyday. Both of these moves would likely result in a drop off in production despite how bad Wells was.
The correct move and best way to minimize the mythical “power threat” the team loses with Vernon Wells sidelined is to play Mark Trumbo in left field everyday, making Howie Kendrick the team’s primary first basemen in the interim. The quartet of Kendrick, Izturis , Aybar and Callaspo have been the teams most productive hitters this season. The sudden loss of Vernon Wells now gives Scioscia the chance to play the “Fearsome Foursome” along with the power bat of Trumbo on a regular basis.
Lets take a look at how the new temporary lineup should shake out.
The most common everyday lineup ( while Wells is out) should look like this, with Alexi Amarista, Willits and Mathis getting spot starts here and there.
Izturis - 2B
Aybar – SS
Abreu – DH
Hunter – RF
Kendrick – 1B
Callaspo – 3B
Conger – C
Bourjos – CF
One could argue that this is the clubs best lineup even with Wells healthy ( at least while he’s slumping). IF Scioscia employs the line up above, expect the Halos to keep grinding out victories. If he gets creative and finds way to deploy Mathis and Willits on the daily then the club could struggle to score runs as it has at times this season.
So now Halo fans must sit and wait. The release of tonight’s lineup cards could speak volumes for how Scioscia plans to “get by” without Vernon Wells.