Toronto Blue Jays centre fielder Vernon Wells will be undergoing surgery next week to repair cartilage damage in his left wrist.
The 11-year veteran is coming off one of his worst offensive performances, batting just .260 with 15 home runs and 66 runs batted in, despite having 630 at-bats.
Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos recently spoke with Wells to discuss if the wrist played a part in his struggles this past season.
“I said, ‘Vernon, I know you’re not one to make excuses and we’re certainly not ‘trying to find one,’ I was just curious from my standpoint, ‘How it did feel?” he said to MLB.com.
“He just said, ‘You know what? It never felt completely right, but I was not in pain.”
However, Anthopoulos has his own views on how much of an effect a hurt wrist can cause.
“Your wrists are a huge component in being able to swing the bat,” the general manager said.
“Even though he didn’t have pain, if it didn’t feel 100 percent right, I can’t imagine that it helped him … From my standpoint, I think it probably had some type of impact on his season. I just don’t know to what extent.”
But when next season starts, Wells, entering the third of his seven year, $126-million contract, will have to begin endearing himself to Jays fans once again, who booed the team’s second-longest serving player regularly in the second half.
“People tend to think he doesn’t show a lot of emotion and so on, but he’s a very tough player,” Anthopoulos said.
“He plays hard and plays hurt and avoids the training room at all costs. Sometimes to a fault, he wont’ tell us if he is in pain or if he is hurting.”
In other off-season news, third baseman Edwin Encarnacion already underwent surgery last Friday to repair a bone spur.
After initially struggling upon his arrival to Toronto in a July 31 trade deadline deal involving Scott Rolen, the former Cincinnati Red batted .240 with eight home runs and 23 RBIs in 42 games.
“There were still some things to clean out and so on, that certainly in my mind bodes well for him for 2010,” Anthopoulos said.