Chat with Mark Saxon
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thursday, ESPNLosAngeles.com's 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 4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT!
Buzzmaster (4:36 PM)
Mark must be enjoying these exciting NCAA first round games. I'll track him down and have him chatting in a gif.
Mark Saxon (4:37 PM)
Hey all,Sorry I'm a bit late. I'm at the stadium watching Ervin Santana in a minor league game. There are about 35 fans here.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who will make their Los Angeles Angels Debut in 2010
Mark Saxon (4:41 PM)
Hi Chris,I'll go with Trevor Reckling. None of the other Triple-A guys set the world on fire when they came up last year. He'll be up (maybe) and it might even happen before his 21st birthday. Imagine that.
Mark Saxon (4:41 PM)
By the way, Reckling is a left-handed starting pitcher for those who don't know.
Jack(LA,CA) [via mobile]
how and will the angels replace vlad
Mark Saxon (4:43 PM)
Jack,They did, in fact, replace him in terms of the job description. The man's name is Hideki Matsui. Of course, they're very different kinds of hitters. I happen to think Vlad's presence will be missed. For many, many years he was the big superstar who let the young players relax, since he was the one counted on for production. He really did make people around him better.
Esteban (Oakland, Mich)
Hola! How often do you think Maicer Izturis will play and what position will he see the most time at? Can he overtake Brandon Wood at third?
Mark Saxon (4:46 PM)
Estedan,I think Izturis's at-bats will go down a little bit this year. At the beginning of the year, he was splitting time with Erick Aybar at shortstop. That won't happen, but he will play at least 2-3 days a week at a combination of second and third.
Mateen Cleaves (East Lansing, MI)
Do you agree with me that the Angels most vulnerable area is the outfield -- lots of age, not a lot of depth?
Mark Saxon (4:49 PM)
MC,Big time. That's the subject of today's story at espnlosangeles.com. Funny you should ask. It wouldn't be surprising to see two outfielders hurt at one time. Then, what are they going to do?
Tess (Sierra Madre)
You mentioned Ervin Santana, how does he look? What are Butcher and Scioscia saying about him? Do you expect we'll see a leap in performance from him this season?
Mark Saxon (4:51 PM)
Tess, good to have you back in the chat room. Santana has looked great so far with the exception of a few hits he's given up in this Triple-A game. He also just knocked one youngster on his back with an up-and-in fastball. If Santana pitches like he did in '08, they'll be in good shape.
Jesse (Pomona, CA)
Mark - With Adrian Gonzalez' name on the trading block since last summer, I can't help but ask this hypothetical question. If the Angels had a chance to get Gonzalez, would you give up Kendry Morales in the process? My opinion is that Gonzalez is a HR threat EVERY time he comes to the plate, something the Angels don't really have right now. I know it's a pipe dream at this point, but still an interesting question to ask.
Mark Saxon (4:56 PM)
Hi Jesse, That's intriguing. Personally, I wouldn't trade Kendry for him. Gonzalez is going to want a lot of money, maybe even Teixeira-type money and Kendry is under club control for a few more years. Gonzalez's production might be a bit better, but it's not worth the money, IMHO.
New Jack (The Bronx)
Thoughts on Ron Washington?
Mark Saxon (4:58 PM)
Hi Jack,Ron Washington is a really good guy and a respected baseball man. I used to talk to him a lot when he was the third-base coach in Oakland. Using cocaine is obviously not a good idea, but he's living with the consequences now in a very public way. It will pass.
Mikey D. (East Lyme, Conn.)
Hey Mark ... Bobby Abreu just turned 36 and he signed a two-year deal ... I know he had a great year last year, but do you think he can repeat that this year and next year, considering his age? Is this a good contract or bad contract?
Mark Saxon (4:59 PM)
MD,I'd be selling short on Abreu if he were a stock. At his age, the slope can get precipitous quickly. Look at David Justice's numbers at that age, though Justice had a bad knee.I think the second year of the deal will be the bad one.
Mark Saxon (5:01 PM)
By the way, Ervin just gave up a massive 3-run home run to a Giants player who appeared to be Joe Borchard.
IZZ (Los Angeles)
Was Kazmir's control issues on Monday related to his injury or was he just rusty?
Mark Saxon (5:03 PM)
Hi IZZ, He said he feels great, but was tinkering with the grip on his sinker. I guess you could call that rust.
Mark, I'm a huge Fan of the Angels organization from the Owner to the players and love everything Arte has done to this team. But I have one problem why are some Angels players so rude and dont want to give kids autographs at the Big A? I was a Big fan of Vladdy until my Daughter tried getting his autograph and got ignored that made my 6 yrs daughter cry. Are they forgetting that we the fans pay their salaries? Every time i was at big a Bobby Abreu would stop and give autographs to the kids and now is my daughters fav player? I even got Arte to sign a Ball for Daughter. Can Arte do something about this?
Mark Saxon (5:08 PM)
Daisy, You're getting me all choked up and making me miss my kids. Sometimes, the players ignore autograph-seekers because they're in the middle of something and are concentrating on work. Remember, that's their office. But if it's a down moment, they should do the right thing and sign. I think Arte encourages them to be fan-friendly.
Anthony (Burbank, CA)
Hey Mark- what do you think will happen with Wilson
Mark Saxon (5:12 PM)
Hi Anthony,Wilson is out of options, which means the Angels might keep three catchers, something Mike Scioscia doesn't often do. If they can't afford the extra catcher (say the outfielders are banged up or they need an extra arm), they'll try to trade him.
Mark Saxon (5:12 PM)
OK, it's time to go talk to Ervin, so I look forward to next week's chat. Sayonara from the desert.