Wells has successful wrist surgery
Outfielder undergoes operation to repair cartilage damage
TORONTO -- Blue Jays center fielder Vernon Wells underwent surgery to repair cartilage damage in his left wrist on Thursday. A team official said the procedure went as planned and Wells is expected to be recovered and ready for Spring Training.
The operation -- performed by Dr. Donald Sheridan in Scottsdale, Ariz. -- was deemed necessary after Wells informed Toronto's training staff that he was experiencing pain in his wrist in the weeks following the end of the regular season. The center fielder previously broke the wrist while making a diving catch in Cleveland in May 2008.
Discussing the injury last week, Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos said that Wells' wrist was hurting during Spring Training and that the outfielder received a cortisone shot at the time. During the season, Anthopoulos said Wells never complained about pain and took anti-inflammatory medications to help with some minor discomfort.
Anthopoulos added that the injury might have contributed to Wells' subpar showing at the plate in 2009.
"Your wrists are a huge component in being able to swing the bat," Anthopoulos 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."
Over 158 games and 684 at-bats, which both marked his highest such totals since 2001, the 30-year-old Wells hit just .260 with 15 home runs, 66 RBIs, a .311 on-base percentage and a .400 slugging percentage. The center fielder produced fewer home runs and RBIs in a season than he had since 2001, when he appeared in only 30 games for Toronto.
The disappointing performance this past season came one year after Wells hit .300 with 20 homers and 78 RBIs in just 108 games during an injury-plagued 2008 campaign. In three seasons since signing a seven-year extension worth $126 million with the Jays, Wells has combined to hit .265 with 51 homers, 224 RBIs, a .317 OBP and a .426 SLG over 415 games.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.