Chat with Mark Saxon
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, Los Angeles Angels writer Mark Saxon will stop by to chat some baseball.
Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.
Send your questions now and join Saxon Thursday at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT!
Mark Saxon (2:01 PM)
We have a little Angels news today, as Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes caught up with Albert Pujols recently and found out he's planning to be in Arizona a week ahead of the reporting date. That means Pujols will be there in just over two weeks. Let's get the chat started and see what everybody wants to talk about.
Josh R Riverside, CA [via mobile]
I really think Trumbo is most likely going to be DH,I hear Morales is close, but then again we heard throughout last spring training. Any update on morales and where is Bobby Abreu going to land now that the Tigers (Abreu's most likely landing spot in a trade about 2 weeks ago) the Prince
Mark Saxon (2:04 PM)
Josh, You're probably right that a lot of Trumbo's at-bats will come at DH. I put the over/under on his third-base games at 20 and would lean toward the under. If Morales is healthy -- and that's still a big 'if' until we know he can make cuts and run the bases -- they won't have at-bats for both of them, unless they're willing to bench Vernon Wells and his $21 million salary.I have no idea where Abreu will end up, but Tampa has been mentioned.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who is the Oldest Player on the 2012 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Roster?
Mark Saxon (2:06 PM)
That would be reliever LaTroy Hawkins, who turned 39 on the winter solstice, Dec. 21.
Mark (West Palm Beach, FL)
Talk about the minor league bullpen depth with the Angels ( i.e Carpenter, Brasier, Piazza, Geltz) and where that might fit in as far as the remaining offseason spending is concerned
Mark Saxon (2:09 PM)
Hey Mark, I'm not sure if those guys will impact the rest of the off-season plans, because I think the Angels are probably done anyway. They've been linked to Luis Ayala, but that's hardly an impact deal. You mentioned some younger relievers, but I think the team is hopeful that guys like Kevin Jepsen and Michael Kohn can get back in the picture first.
Hey Mark, has Scioscia put out any potential lineups or is that a pointless exercise with Trumbo and Morales' health still up in the air? And any update on those two and their recoveries? Thanks!
Mark Saxon (2:12 PM)
The updates have all been positive, but aren't they always? The Angels remain cautiously optimistic Morales will be able to play in spring training games, which is key to him being able to start the season. A big test will come when he tries running the bases. And the only talk I've heard out of Scioscia about his lineup is to hope that Morales will be his cleanup hitter, which makes everything so much easier. It will be interesting to see who he installs as his leadoff hitter. I like Howie Kendrick as the No. 2 hitter because I think he'll do well seeing all those fastballs in front of Albert Pujols.
Best pre-game/post-game hangout before/after a game? The Catch, Throwbacks, JT Schmidts, or Dennys?
Mark Saxon (2:14 PM)
Jon, I've been to three of those and have eaten at two of them and let's just say they're not must-dine experiences for me. After games, I used to like the scene at The Catch, but haven't been in years (I have two little kids and get precious little sleep).
Michael G (Long Beach Ca)
Are the angels in on anyone in the relief market
Mark Saxon (2:16 PM)
Michael, They've been linked to ex-Yankee Luis Ayala, but otherwise is there anyone left who's worth signing? They might be better off hoping one of the young guys like Kevin Jepsen, Bobby Cassevah or Michael Kohn entrenches himself in the bullpen this spring.
Thomas ((From Facebook))
Please tell me the Angels will keep Morales & Trumbo! Also, any news on adding more bullpen arms?
Mark Saxon (2:18 PM)
Thomas, I'm going to skip the second part of the question because we addressed it earlier. Personally, I think it's unlikely they keep both Morales and Trumbo if Kendrys proves healthy. It would make the roster too unwieldy and might stunt Trumbo's development. But which one do they move? Morales has the advantage of being able to hit from the left side, but he's also going to be a free agent sooner, makes more money and is two years older.
i havent heard too much about ianetta is he a significant addition? i knowhis bat is better than mathis' but is the glove anywhere near?
Mark Saxon (2:22 PM)
Hey Tank, Funny. I just explored that topic in our blog. The evidence suggests Iannetta is a slightly above-average defender, but not as good as Mathis. I would imagine his bat will make up for the difference (It's hard not to), but he hit .171 away from Coors Field and is going to a pitchers' park, so I don't think he'll be an offensive force.
Hey Mark- heading out to Tempe for Spring Training. Any restaurants you can recommend?
Mark Saxon (2:23 PM)
Anthony, I'm a big fan of Pizzeria Bianco in downtown Phoenix, but be prepared to arrive about four hours before you want to eat. For lunch, I like The Farm at South Mountain, which is very close to Tempe Diablo Stadium.
John (Santa Monica)
I am a little worried about the starting pitching depth, can you see any more moves for a number 5 or a minor league insurance policy in case one of the big 4 gets hurt?
Mark Saxon (2:28 PM)
John, That's a good point, but then again, how many teams have seven or eight palatable options for their rotation? Right now, I would say the No. 5 starter probably is Jerome Williams, followed by Garrett Richards, Trevor Bell and Brad Mills. That seems like sufficient depth for the moment.
Brandon Livingston (Rancho Santa Margarita)
is there any way way you see the Angels trading Trumbo away? because i know myself and many other Angels fans will be very disappointed to see him grow as a player in another uniform
Mark Saxon (2:30 PM)
Yeah, it's not an easy thing to do, Brandon. Trumbo grew up five minutes from Angel Stadium and the Angels were one of the few teams that believed in him as a position player. Then again, most of the people who drafted and developed him are gone. I could see the Angels trading him, but wouldn't expect them to do it unless they get an impact player in return.
Dan (Upland, CA)
What are Garrett Richards chances of success as the fifth starter? Will the front office really consider moving Trumbo for another starter?
Mark Saxon (2:33 PM)
Hey Dan, I think Richards' chances are decent, but he's the outsider going in with Jerome Williams the favorite. They wouldn't have re-signed Williams (at $800k) if he wasn't in their major-league plans. I think they would consider moving Trumbo for a starter, but it would have to be a decent one. Jim Bowden suggested Wade Davis of Tampa. Seems like a reasonable return to me.
Tyler Whitacre (Las Vegas, NV)
How does a a team (The Angels) go from having a whole roster over a .300 batting average a few years back to not having one person in the line up over .300 last year? What is the mindset of the players and coaching staff?
Mark Saxon (2:35 PM)
Tyler, I didn't know they had a .300 hitter. I think Alberto Callaspo led the team hitting .288. I guess the short answer is: The guys didn't hit as well. Are you suggesting Mickey Hatcher is to blame? I'm not sure I agree with you, but if Albert Pujols suddenly hits .250 this year, you might be onto something..
Ronald ((From Facebook))
Im wondering if the Angels plan on moving Trumbo to 3rd since he played it in high school?
Mark Saxon (2:36 PM)
Ronald, They are planning to try him there, but remember: Jason Giambi played shortstop in high school (and college). It's a lot harder in the major leagues. I've talked to some baseball people who are very skeptical about Trumbo's ability to play even mediocre third base.
Eric ((From Facebook))
Are the angels trying to get a new catcher?
Mark Saxon (2:37 PM)
Eric, I would think that would be the last of their concerns. They just traded for Chris Iannetta and they still have Hank Conger and Bobby Wilson on the roster.
Thanks for the recommends. On the field- I would really like to see Trout break camp with the team but know its probably unrealistic with the OF logjam. Do you think if Wells struggles they will eat the $60+ million (gasp) and release him?
Mark Saxon (2:39 PM)
Hey, I think that's a tough question, Anthony. A more immediate question is whether -- if Trout clearly looks better than Wells this spring, which he probably will -- whether they'd be willing to bench a $21 million-per-year player. I doubt it, especially entering April. It might be a situation where Wells has a nagging injury and the team talks him into going on the DL.
Mark Saxon (2:41 PM)
Hey guys, Another fun chat. Remember, we'll be doing these every Thursday at 11 a.m., so bring your good questions next week.