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Vernon Wells had himself a game

May 9, 2013, 9:13 AM EDT

Screen Shot 2013-05-09 at 9.02.02 AM

Everyone — present company included — laughed when the Yankees acquired Vernon Wells. Vernon Wells and the Yankees are laughing now. He’s hitting .287/.341/.504 with seven homers. When the Yankees needed someone — anyone — to step up while the big guys are all out on the disabled list, Vernon Wells stepped up and then some.

Last night may have been his best game. He was 3 for 4 with a homer and two driven in.  And to top it all off, after a career in which he’s never played anywhere besides the outfield, he played the ninth inning at third base, where he fielded a grounder and looked pretty darn slick making the putout.  A video of all of his game highlights is here, with the defensive play at the end.

What an odd career Wells has had. Greatness, then a couple of years where he was among the least valuable players in the game, followed by more greatness. And he’s on, like, the third time through that cycle.

  1. rickdobrydney - May 9, 2013 at 9:21 AM

    Seems like a really nice guy as well—–he has really stepped up big time —-All I know is, when the Yanks get all of their regulars back, they are going to have a MONSTER bench…..

    • josemartez - May 9, 2013 at 9:25 AM

      I always liked Vernon when he was with Toronto because, well, he seemed so nice. His poor performance later on made it frustrating, but I’m kind of glad he’s doing well now.

      • asimonetti88 - May 9, 2013 at 2:58 PM

        Yeah, despite the lack of production for the Angels, he always seemed to be a pretty likeable guy. Obviously, because of that lack of production, I was excited when they traded him prior to this year. Who knew I would be wishing we hadn’t made that trade now.

    • fanofevilempire - May 9, 2013 at 11:02 AM

      a lot of people laughed at the Cash man when he made the deal, I didn’t think
      it would be this good but I thought maybe it could be interesting.
      one of the nice pickups that will help them thread water for awhile.

      • 18thstreet - May 9, 2013 at 12:38 PM

        Gosh, I wonder why everyone laughed at this deal?

        http://www.fangraphs.com/graphs.aspx?playerid=1326&position=OF&page=1&type=full

  2. jfk69 - May 9, 2013 at 9:23 AM

    No Brooks Robinson. But before I am sold…Lets try him at short. Is Girardi using a new playbook ????

  3. deathmonkey41 - May 9, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    I think he buckled under the weight of that behemoth contract in Toronto. Then when he went to Anaheim, he tried too hard to prove he was worth it again. I think since the Yankees had such low expectations this season and like you said- no one expected him specifically to do anything anyway- he’s just playing more relaxed now. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

    • fanofevilempire - May 9, 2013 at 11:04 AM

      magical things happen when you don the pinstripes.

      • hep3 - May 9, 2013 at 11:59 AM

        Or is it “desperate times call for desperate measures.”

      • badintent - May 10, 2013 at 3:12 AM

        Damn right. Just ask Strawberry.

    • jarathen - May 9, 2013 at 12:54 PM

      I don’t believe that he can maintain his current pace, but he’s already provided surprising value for the Yankees, and that he’s done so on the road is extra icing on the cake, since I figured Yankee stadium would be where he provided the most value.

      I can say with certainty he would not have done this well in Anaheim, and I do wish him the best. He never gave in to the negativity and was always positive.

  4. turdfurgerson68 - May 9, 2013 at 9:35 AM

    Gotta admit, Cashman getting last laugh now…%$#&* Yankees!

  5. dirtyharry1971 - May 9, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    Right now he would easily be the bluejays best player if they stll had him, but then again if they still did he would probably be hitting .195 with 1 HR

    • heyblueyoustink - May 9, 2013 at 9:59 AM

      So the Rogers Centre is built on some kind of burial ground and is cursed, perhaps?

      • deathmonkey41 - May 9, 2013 at 11:16 AM

        I hear it’s the curse of Bob and Doug McKenzie, but haven’t been able to confirm that.

      • nbjays - May 9, 2013 at 12:22 PM

        Not as cursed as Wrigley.. at least the Jays won a couple of championships there. I think the curse came when they changed the name of the place from Skydome.

  6. stoutfiles - May 9, 2013 at 9:50 AM

    The season is still young, and the money they owe Wells is huge. Unless the Yanks make the playoffs, then this trade was pointless.

    • dondada10 - May 9, 2013 at 9:52 AM

      Who’s this “they” you speak of? I was under the impression that the Yanks weren’t paying him more than 6 mil this year.

    • proudlycanadian - May 9, 2013 at 9:55 AM

      Not really. The Angels are eating a large part of his contract. In particular, the Angels will pay most of the contract next season.

    • fanofevilempire - May 9, 2013 at 11:06 AM

      Angels are picking up a lot of the dime on this one, like the old A-rod contract.

    • fanofevilempire - May 9, 2013 at 2:21 PM

      he plays for the Yanks on the Angels dime.

  7. mybrunoblog - May 9, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    Vernon wells. Pleasant surprise. Unfortunately if the last 5 games are a trend then the Yankee magic act is vanishing. The lineup looks a bit flat over that period. I’m beginning to wonder how long these guys can keep this up.
    The pitching has been terrific but if the Yanks want to compete they are going to need more offense.

    • deathmonkey41 - May 9, 2013 at 11:18 AM

      The offense has seemed to sputter a bit since Youlk went down.

      • fanofevilempire - May 9, 2013 at 2:23 PM

        besides all the injuries the thing that hurt the Yanks is the switch hitters.

      • dirtyharry1971 - May 9, 2013 at 10:33 PM

        they get Youk back in like a week

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - May 9, 2013 at 1:13 PM

      The last 5 games should not be a trend. They are getting Granderson next week, and hopefully Teixeira a couple weeks later. And For as much production as the Yankees have had from unexpected sources, some of the expected sources of production have started slowly. I look forward to CC picking up his game as the weather heats up, Gardner has only 3 SBs on the year so far, Ichiro is just starting to warm up a bit, Nunez can certainly hit better than he has.

      You figure a few teams might begin to accept their status as non-contenders soon and the trade market could free up. I keep thinking a Granderson (plus 1 or 2 decent prospects) for Andrus trade could make sense for both teams. Don’t get me wrong, I love Curtis, but the Yankees have 4 OFs on their roster right now who are all signed through next year (Ichiro, Gardner, Wells, Boesch). Shortops don’t grow on trees, and Jeter’s contract is done after this year anyway.

      • bigharold - May 9, 2013 at 1:41 PM

        “.. and Jeter’s contract is done after this year anyway.”

        I agree with your premise regarding trade possibilities and the need to acquire a viable replacement for Jeter but Jeter will likely be back next season. There is a player option that I can’t imagine Jeter not exercising. Unless there are far more issues wit the ankle that have not been disclosed.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - May 9, 2013 at 3:03 PM

        If the opportunity presents itself, they should not hesitate to acquire their next SS. Jeter may or may not be back this year, and may or may not be back next year. If he does come back, who knows what his production will be. They can always DH him and use him sparingly in the field, which sounds about right for a 40 year old middle infielder.

        Don’t get me wrong, I love Jeter. I just don’t think there will be too many opportunities for the Yankees to acquire a star-caliber replacement. Texas and NYY match up well here though (TEX needs a power lefty and an OF) so I have been spitballing about this for a while.

  8. sdelmonte - May 9, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    Honestly, if Brian Cashman suggested it was a good idea to trade for Charlie Brown, I would listen. His rate of success for subs, scrubs, fill ins and reclamation projects is astounding.

    • paperlions - May 9, 2013 at 11:06 AM

      http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=1001502&position=P

  9. timmmah10 - May 9, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    sdelmonte

    Some of his success can be easily attributed to that joke of a ball park they play in….

    Same with Boston, when you have barely 300 foot fences, offensive numbers go up. You don’t see them hitting home runs with pitchers… (CC withstanding).

    • anxovies - May 9, 2013 at 10:45 AM

      Yes, those newfangled ballparks are a real joke. And new Yankee Stadium with its 399′ and 408′ dimensions in left and center is probably the reason that a banjo hitting righthander like Wells is having success.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - May 9, 2013 at 11:40 AM

      Some of his success can be easily attributed to that joke of a ball park they play in….

      Except Wells is right handed, and Yankee Stadium, both iteration II and III, are death to right hand pull hitters. It’s why when Arod hit 48 HR in ’05, he was the first RHH to hit 40+ HR as a Yankee since DiMaggio in ’37. But yeah, joke of a ballpark…

    • Kevin S. - May 9, 2013 at 12:11 PM

      The real trick is how he changes the dimensions for the Yankee pitchers.

    • badintent - May 10, 2013 at 3:20 AM

      Way too much EA MLB the big show time for you. Go to the park and see it for yourself.Take a math course or use the distance convertor on your cell phone to understand how far Wells is cranking the ball at home And on the road

  10. baseballicious - May 9, 2013 at 10:20 AM

    You can say the exact same thing about Travis Hafner.

  11. cur68 - May 9, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    On the one hand, I’m glad for Wells. He is a decent guy: does a lot of charity work, friendly and personable, gets along great with his teammates, and, when he’s in BeaverLand, the Left Field Fans give him absolute HELL and all he does is smile and wave.

    On the other hand, he’s Beelzebub. Satan. The Hooved One. He never seemed to be healthy when My Boys needed him. In fact he’d collect the oddest assortment of injuries (turf toe? Really, Vern? You have hooves, man. How do you bruise a hoof?) and languish on the DL for months with them. Then, when he was traded to LAA and the much missed Tiffany Simons needed him to come through and carry Her Boys into the playoffs, he was a SO machine. THAT was tragic. A happy Tiffany was a sight to see. And he crushed her.

    Then, ever time he was back in BeaverLand he’d wake from his Long Slumber of Futility and have a great game. Just HAMMER My Boys. Once out of town, back to sleep went Vern.

    Now that he plays for The Empire, he is Ripping It Up. Just KILLING IT. When I need him to suck. Of. Course.

    Vernon Wells is The Devil. I warned you.

    • beanster71 - May 9, 2013 at 10:35 AM

      “A happy Tiffany was a sight to see” — ahh those were the days …

      • stlouis1baseball - May 9, 2013 at 12:23 PM

        Ahhhhh….Tiffany.

    • bigharold - May 9, 2013 at 1:45 PM

      “turf toe?”

      That’s cause your guys use turf. Servers you right!

      • cur68 - May 9, 2013 at 2:51 PM

        Gigabyte me.

      • bigharold - May 9, 2013 at 5:00 PM

        You guys up north are a wee bit testy ah?

  12. genericcommenter - May 9, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    Too bad the Yankees didn’t acquire his friend Michael Young to fill-in at 3B/SS, too.

    (Yes, I’m kidding)

  13. Liam - May 9, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    The Yankees 1/4 season MVP award should be split between their two biggest contributors, Smoke and Mirrors.

  14. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - May 9, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    Craig, you missed the two best parts about last night. The first was Wells saying the last time he played the infield was SS in High School, and that was because the entire infield was suspended due to grades. Even better, he said the best part about HS ball was if he made a mistake, he’d just atone for it by hitting a HR. Imagine being that good…

  15. braddavery - May 9, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    I wonder if the season Wells is having will change his tune of retiring at the end of the season.

    • jarathen - May 10, 2013 at 9:44 AM

      He said he’d retire at the end of his contract. He still has 2014.

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