Vernon Wells is mild-mannered and not prone to fits of anger, but that can hide what sometimes stews inside.
The outfielder has been a major disappointment in Anaheim, where he had the lowest average (.218) of any big league regular in 2011 and hit .230 with 11 home runs and 29 runs batted in during an injury-plagued 2012.
Wells, 34, lost his starting job last May and will open 2013 as a reserve behind outfielders Mike Trout, Josh Hamilton and Peter Bourjos and designated hitter Mark Trumbo.
Wells has two more seasons — at $21 million a year — to show he's not one of baseball's biggest busts, but to do so he'll have to scrap and fight his way out of a corner.
Which is why Wells nodded knowingly when asked before Friday's first full-squad workout if he might benefit from coming to camp with a chip on his shoulder, with something to prove.
"I've prepared myself this off-season to compete," Wells said. "With that comes a lot of different thought processes, approaches, and that plays into it a little bit."
Wells is three years removed from a 2010 season in which he hit .273 with 31 homers and 88 RBIs for Toronto. After overhauling his swing last winter with no results,he spent much of this winter studying video, comparing his good and bat at-bats.
Vernon Wells has $21-million worth to prove
Los Angeles Times | Feb 16