Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/7/12

Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia acknowledges that there is difficulty in trying to produce with the sporadic playing time Vernon Wells likely will be getting. However, he clearly wants to see more than Wells has shown him since returning from thumb surgery.

"You might not find the groove, but you have to have better at-bats," Scioscia said Tuesday before the Angels' 10-4 loss to the A's at Oakland. "You might not get locked in. That doesn't mean you're not going to contribute. Vernon should be able to go up there, should be able to be on some pitches and hit the ball hard even with some of the limited playing time. He has to get comfortable with that, and hopefully we'll see it."

Wells has started four of the 12 games since he was activated from the DL on July 27, having missed just over two months following surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb. He is hitless in 16 at-bats with five strikeouts, increasing his status as a lightning rod for criticism. That began last year as he underachieved mightily in his first season as an Angel.

Despite being the team's highest-paid player at $21 million (the same salary he will draw in each of the next two seasons), Wells has been superseded by young All-Stars Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo and shunted into a bench role.

"Therein lies the challenge," Wells said of trying to be productive despite limited playing time. "Absolutely, it's a completely different approach to what you're used to. I'm kind of trying to learn what that role entails."

Wells said he has spoken with some friends and former teammates who have played as reserves to get their advice. Scioscia has his own recommendation for Wells.

"I think he just needs to get simple," Scioscia said. "Start with singles and the power will come. We've had conversations with Vernon. He understands it. He understands what he's trying to do -- it's just a function of doing it."

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