Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/13/12

One of the lessons Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia had to learn early in the season was that young slugger Mark Trumbo needed to be an everyday presence in the lineup. That paid off, as Trumbo proved to be the team's most consistently productive hitter in the first half, earning his first All-Star selection.

The lessons have changed now, however.

With Trumbo in a deep second-half slump, Scioscia has made the decision to give more playing time to veteran Vernon Wells at Trumbo's expense. Trumbo was on the bench for consecutive games Tuesday and Wednesday, the first time since April he has not been in the lineup on back-to-back days. It is the fourth time in the past eight days Scioscia has started Wells ahead of Trumbo in left field.

"There's certainly a finite amount of games right now you're looking at," Scioscia said of benching Trumbo. "A guy like Trum -- it's Catch-22. He needs to go out there and swing. But right now he's struggling, and (we're) taking some at-bats away.

"When he finds it, he usually keeps it. It can come quickly for him. We need him, and we're definitely going to give him enough chance to get there with the option of spotting Vernon or some other guys in there to give us a little boost."

Trumbo hasn't been able to find it for a long time. He has just two hits and 12 strikeouts in 24 at-bats this month, five hits and 21 strikeouts in his past 45 at-bats. He has a .194 average with 67 strikeouts and only four extra-base hits in 175 at-bats since July 18.

Wells has only been marginally better. He is batting .223 (46-for-206) during a season split by two months on the disabled list following a thumb injury. He has nine hits in his past 36 at-bats (.250), including four home runs and nine RBI.

"Any time you play better, you're going to get more opportunities to help a team win," Scioscia said. "Offensively, obviously (Wells) hasn't performed to the level that he had when he was with Toronto. But he's a much better player than he's shown here in the last year and a half, and hopefully he'll give us a lift here the last month."

Wells went 0-for-4 Wednesday in the Angels' 4-1 loss to the Oakland A's. Scioscia said Trumbo would spell Kendrys Morales with a start at first base Thursday against Oakland's Brett Anderson, the first of three left-handed starters the Angels will face in the next four days.

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