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Wells to have surgery on right thumb

Wells to have surgery on right thumb

Wells to have surgery on right thumb
OAKLAND -- The Angels' greatest area of depth going into the season was suddenly their thinnest department as they began a three-game series against the Athletics on Monday, with Vernon Wells and Ryan Langerhans being placed the disabled list, Torii Hunter still away from the team and an extra pitcher added to the roster after Sunday's 13-inning loss to the Padres.

The Angels learned Monday that Wells would undergo surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his right thumb, which he injured during a stolen base in the second inning of the series finale at Petco Park, and would be away from baseball activities for the next 8-10 weeks.

That means Wells, batting .244 with six homers and owed $63 million through the 2014 season, will be unavailable until at least early August. And it means that for now, at least until Hunter returns, the Angels' starting outfield will feature Mike Trout in left, Peter Bourjos in center and Mark Trumbo in right.

"Any time you lose a guy that you're counting on, who's shown some signs of maybe getting back close to his game, it's unfortunate," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

"Hopefully on the offensive side, when we start to get a little more production from 1 to 9, you can absorb maybe that one bat that's not in the lineup."

With Wells going under the knife -- his surgery is scheduled for Tuesday in Los Angeles, and will be performed by hand-and-wrist specialist Dr. Steven Shin -- and Langerhans also being placed on the 15-day DL with a separated right shoulder, the Angels called up outfielder Kole Calhoun and reliever Bobby Cassevah from Triple-A Salt Lake.

Reliever Michael Kohn (Tommy John surgery) was transferred to the 60-day disabled list to create a spot for Calhoun on the 40-man roster.

Langerhans, who was called up when Hunter was placed on the restricted list Monday, hurt his shoulder while tracking down a John Baker double in the bottom of the 11th Sunday, then had his arm in a sling postgame. The 32-year-old won't require surgery, but Scioscia said "it's tough to say" how long Langerhans will be out.

"I think these things kind of go at their own pace, kind of like hamstrings," Scioscia added. "It's a definite separation in his AC joint."

Over the weekend, Scioscia said he was hopeful that Hunter -- back in Texas to be with his 17-year-old son, who's defending sexual-assault charges -- would rejoin the team at some point on this road trip, which ends in Seattle on Sunday.

But that timeline is still a bit hazy.

"He has a lot of things that he's working through back home," Scioscia said. "As soon as he's comfortable to get back, he will. We don't have a definitive timeline."

Until Hunter returns, Calhoun -- capable of playing all three outfield spots and first base -- will be the fourth outfielder and Bourjos will get more playing time after starting just six of 22 games since Trout's April 28 callup. Cassevah, a sinker-baller, gives the Angels 14 relievers after their bullpen accounted for 6 2/3 innings in Sunday's 3-2 loss.

Wells, who was batting .348 in six games leading up to the injury, hurt himself while trying to pick himself back up after a pop-up slide in the top of the second that afternoon. He stayed on the bases and took his position in left field for the bottom half but was subbed out in the middle of the third.

"He felt it move, and he felt it popped out and popped right back in," Scioscia said. "It happens a lot of times where it's just something that you work through. But as he came off the field, next inning, he had no chance to swing the bat and no chance to play. We knew at that point that it was something significant."

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