Wells' 2012 start looking a lot like 2011
The best thing Vernon Wells could have done to make his bad showing in 2011 forgotten would have been to get off to a good start in 2012.
This is the opposite of that.
Wells was 2-for-13 in the Angels' season-opening series against the Royals. In Sunday's game, he came up with runners in scoring position four times and went hitless, striking out three times, although he did hit a solo home run.
Manager Mike Scioscia said he thought Wells was pressing to try to get off to a good start and put 2011 behind him. So he benched Wells on Monday in Minnesota and met with him behind closed doors.
"Absolutely," Scioscia said when asked if Wells' early struggles might be a product of trying too hard to put 2011 in his rear-view mirror. "There's no doubt about Vernon and his passion.
"He understands how much we need him. There could be some things players do from time to time that are going to overcompensate for some things they're trying to correct.
"Vernon needs to get simple and he understands that."
Wells dedicated his offseason to rebuilding his swing and getting back in touch with a more balanced hitting approach.
Scioscia said the problems now are "more conceptual things rather than mechanical." Bobby Abreu started in left field Monday and Wells replaced him on defense in the seventh inning, only to strike out in his only at-bat.
"His bat speed is still incredible," Scioscia said. "His hands are great. He just needs to settle in and I think less will be more. He needs to keep it simple.
"He was receptive."
--LHP C.J. Wilson held the Twins to one run on three hits, although he walked four, in seven innings on Monday to get the victory in his Angels' debut. Wilson is 8-3 with a 1.87 ERA over his last 14 road starts. Nine times in his last 19 road starts, Wilson has gone at least six innings and allowed one earned run or less.
--OF Bobby Abreu started in left field Monday and went 1-for-2 with an RBI double, a walk and scored a run. Abreu is a career .342 hitter (65-for-190) with 30 RBI against the Twins. Only one active player has a higher average against the Twins, Mark Teixeira at .371.
--OF Torii Hunter spent the first 10 years of his major league career with the Twins but left as a free agent before the team moved into Target Field. As a visitor with the Angels, he is 6 for 25 at Target Field after going 2 for 4 in Monday's win. In his past eight games against the Twins overall, Hunter is 14 for 29 (.483).
--RHP Jerome Williams (strained left hamstring) is scheduled to make his second rehab start with Class-A Inland Empire on Tuesday. Williams threw 76 pitches over five innings in his first start and is expected to stretch that out to 90 pitches in his second. Barring any setbacks, Williams probably will join the Angels and step in as their fifth starter in New York on Sunday.
--RHP Michael Kohn (flexor tendon) suffered a setback when he experienced renewed discomfort in his forearm after trying to start a throwing program last week. Kohn had an MRI exam earlier this spring that revealed a flexor strain. He is scheduled to meet with Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham on Wednesday.
BY THE NUMBERS: 1.87 -- LHP C.J. Wilson's ERA in his last 14 road starts (19 earned runs, 91 2/3 innings).
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I've always felt gray was a good color for me." -- Angels LHP C.J. Wilson, joking about his success on the road.
--RHP Jerome Williams (strained left hamstring) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26. He made a rehab start for Class A Inland Empire on April 5, and he's due to pitch for the same team April 10. He could join the Angels the first time they need a fifth starter, April 15.
--RHP Michael Kohn (mild flexor strain in right arm) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26. He experienced a setback in early April, and the timetable for his return was unknown.
--RHP Bobby Cassevah (right shoulder discomfort) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26. He began a rehab assignment with Class A Inland Empire on April 6.
--OF Jeremy Moore (left hip surgery in March 2012) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26. He is unlikely to return before mid-June.