After going 3-3 in their opening six games, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will play host to the Blue Jays this weekend with Friday nightís game their home opener.
Opening up on the road has been something of a godsend for former Blue Jay Vernon Wells. He would have been booed out of the state if the Halos had opened at home.
When a high-priced player switches teams, more often than not the player presses a bit through the opening month, wanting to show one and all what a great deal it was to acquire him. It takes a while for the player to relax and just allow his talent to take over.
In the Jaysí case, think back to 1993 when Paul Molitor came on board as a replacement for the beloved Dave Winfield. Molitor couldnít hit a lick through the opening two weeks in his new uniform.
Which leads us back to Wells, who is supposed to be the missing piece of the puzzle and the player that will drive the Angels back to the top of the loop in the competitive AL West.
So far, though, Wells has been a dud. He is batting all of .111 (3-for-27) with zero home runs, zero RBIs and eight strikeouts.
Thatís not what the Angels expected but, as they say, itís early.
The Angels, by the way, are a bit of a banged-up squad. Included on their disabled list is former Jays lefty reliever Scott Downs, who is pitching in rehab assignments as he battles back from a fracture of the big toe on his left foot ó an injury he had back in his Jays days.
Other Angels studs on the DL include Kendrys Morales ó the Ďsí on his first name is not a misprint. It seems the Ďsí was dropped by mistake and it has taken until this season to correct it. Also hurting is Joel Pineiro. Shortstop Erick Aybar could join the list. He has missed three games with a left oblique problem.
Even among the healthy, things are switching up on the Halos. Manager Mike Scioscia has turned to Jordan Walden as his closer with Fernando Rodney shuffled to a lesser role.