Halos look to veterans to right the ship

Halos look to veterans to right the ship

Halos look to veterans to right the ship
ANAHEIM -- "Whatever situation you're in today does not have to be that way tomorrow."

That quote -- courtesy of Torii Hunter -- was slapped on the bulletin board outside of the Angels' clubhouse on Saturday.

The Halos' situation has been a continued search for run production. Before Saturday they had lost six straight games and eight out of nine, scoring three runs or fewer in each of those nine games. Veteran outfielders Hunter, Vernon Wells, and Bobby Abreu met with manager Mike Scioscia prior to the team's batting practice to discuss what needed to be done to conclude that search.

Hunter, Wells, and Abreu were set to bat in the Nos. 2, 3, and 4 spots against Kansas City on Saturday night. All three are hitting below their career batting averages and are well short of their respective career home run paces.

"No one of those guys are going to carry us, but as a whole that's a good middle of the lineup and we need those guys to just do what they can do," Scioscia said. "Those guys are really trying hard and sometimes trying so hard that it's counter-productive."

Hunter, a career .273 hitter, was batting just .238 and has grounded into 17 double plays, which is tied for the most in the Majors. He hasn't hit below .250 since he was a rookie with the Twins over a decade ago.

The 37-year-old Abreu has struggled the least of the trio. His .289 average was only seven points down from his career mark, though his power numbers have declined dramatically. Abreu has only two home runs and is on pace to hit his fewest since he played 59 games for the Astros in 1999.

With a .179 average and four home runs in 38 games, Wells has been battling through both a career-worst start and injury in his first season with the Angels.

But Scioscia isn't looking for an MVP-type performance from any of those players. He thinks just a little bit from each can go a long way in solving the Angels' offensive woes.

"You just want them to do what they can do and not worry about every situation being life and death, and trying to carry us," he said. "They just need to square some balls up with some guys in scoring position. If they're not getting pitches to hit, pass the [bat] to the next guy."