There has been no easier out for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in recent memory than Brandon Wood.


His abysmal campaign of striking out, popping out, and failing to provide any degree of meaningful offense is no less a hindrance to the Angels’ success than a brick wall between third base and home.


In 125 at-bats this season, Wood has hit .152 with two home runs, one double, seven RBI, and a whopping 36 strikeouts.


He was placed on the 15-day disabled list May 25, more likely due to his distinct inability to produce at the plate than his purported strained hip flexor.


After a week’s rest and recuperation, he marched out to the minors on a brief rehab stint to test his body—and his mind.

But Triple-A was no kinder to the troubled third baseman.

A career .284 hitter in the minors, Wood batted nearly 100 points below that mark in 13 games with the Salt Lake Bees. He managed just one home run in 51 at-bats, 17 of which resulted in strikeouts.


However, despite his failure to improve his performance at any level, the Angels were forced to make a decision on Wood’s future this week. Players on the DL can only spend a maximum of 20 games in the minors before their big league clubs must either call them up or re-evaluate their injured status.


Wood was called up.


He avoided striking out in his return to the Angels’ lineup Tuesday, but his offensive production was just as limited, grounding out weakly twice and flying out to center.


He has not given the Angels any reason to keep him around and at this point there’s no reason to expect that he ever will.


Wood has had ample opportunities to prove his worth in the big leagues, and so far all he’s proved is he doesn’t belong.


It’s time to make a change. Particularly in light of Kendry Morales’s devastating injury.


When the Angels stud first baseman broke his leg and ended his season, manager Mike Scioscia told the press his team would not settle for a mercenary to stand in for the next three months.


Instead, he and general manager Tony Reagins will look for a player to help out beyond this season.


Read: Someone who can fill in at first this year and take over third in the future.


As Scioscia clearly stated, this team will not settle for a player who’s impact only extends to the offseason. The Angels are on the hunt for a versatile infielder with some pop in his bat and an adequate glove.


Kevin Frandsen (.377), Mike Napoli (.249), Maicer Izturis (.233), and Michael Ryan (.205) have all played the substitute role at both corners with aplomb, but none has been able to lock down their respective spots for the foreseeable future.


Frandsen has exhibited no power whatsoever and his defense is highly suspect anywhere he plays. Napoli’s streaky hitting and inexperience at first make him just as much of an asset as a liability.


Izturis is far more valuable when he can be moved around from position to position. And Ryan, well, he suffers from a little of each of the above symptoms.


With Wood back to the bigs, the Angels will almost certainly return to their nice-guy tactics, giving him every possible chance to break out of his funk and live up to the hype that’s surrounded him for so long.


But they are fooling themselves if they try the same approach and expect a new outcome.


Wood will fail as surely as the Angels are already thinking about replacing him.


And although the key to this organization has always been its ocean-like depth on the bench and in the minors, this year they just don’t have the pieces to cobble together another championship season.


If the Angels expect to contend this year, both in the division and in the playoffs, they must add depth.


To do that, they must first eliminate Wood’s shallow reservoir of talent from their roster.

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