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 (2:00 PM)
How beautiful is this? We're chatting and there is real baseball being played. The Angels have to wait until tomorrow night to open their season against the Royals, but there's plenty to talk about so let's get to it.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
With all the Money that Angels Spent this winter do you think that the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will be heading to the 2012 World Series?
Mark Saxon (2:02 PM)
Chris,In our predictions, I have the Angels going to -- and losing -- the World Series (to St. Louis). Just a hunch. There is absolutely no way of knowing how things will unfold, but so far so good.
Moses Carri (Westminster, Co)
Do you think the Angels will keep Bobby Abreau for the duration of the season or will they look to trade him? If so what could they look to get?
Mark Saxon (2:04 PM)
Hey Moses, No, I'd be shocked if Abreu was on the team in two months. They've already tried to trade him twice, at least, and that effort figures to continue. The only question is can they off-load some of that $9 million or will they have to just eat it and release him. I wouldn't look for them to get much in return. The last rumor had them acquiring a 27-year old minor-league outfielder coming off a serious arm injury.
What is the itinerary for opening day? Anything special planned during the pre-game?
Mark Saxon (2:06 PM)
Steve, I haven't gotten that info from the Angels yet, but knowing the organization, I would expect a military presence of some kind, likely a fly-over. It will be fun to see what kind of greeting Pujols gets in his first AB.
Do you think the Angels Bullpen will be enough to close out games this year?
Mark Saxon (2:08 PM)
Super doubtful, Frankie, which is why Jerry Dipoto is still looking for help in that department. I know Jordan Walden had a rough spring, but I think he'll be just fine. It would help him to get off to a clean start. The age of the setup guys is an issue, but they have some young guys who could maybe step up and fill the void, a la Kevin Jepsen and Rich Thompson.
What will Mike Trout's role with this team be this year?
Mark Saxon (2:23 PM)
Right now, his role is to play center field with the Salt Lake Bees, Jed, but he'll be the first guy they call if one of their starting outfielders gets hurt. If that happens, look for Trout to play every single day. They still view him as a near-lock to be a major-league star.
Tom (Costa Mesa)
How about Abreau to Washington for John Lannan? Lannan could come out of the bullpen.
Mark Saxon (2:25 PM)
I don't disagree that the Angels could find a use for John Lannan, as a left-handed swing man, either from the bullpen or in the fifth-starter spot, but why on earth would Washington make that trade? I realize both players are disgruntled, but that doesn't mean they have equal value.
Josh (Los Angeles, CA)
Mark, if healthy all season, how many games to expect to see Mark Trumbo start (at any position)?
Mark Saxon (2:30 PM)
Josh, I was thinking about that the other day. Assuming Trumbo plays 40 games at third, which is the number everyone keeps citing, that's one-quarter of the season. Let's say he plays one to two games at DH. That's maybe another 30 games there. Albert will probably DH once every couple of weeks, so that's 10 to 15 more games. Where are the rest of his at-bats going to come? If everyone stays healthy -- a big if -- I have a hard time imagining him playing more than about half the games. It's a shame in a way because he was absolutely pummeling baseballs this spring.
Mark Saxon (2:34 PM)
BTW, judging by Justin Verlander's performance today and what Orel Hershiser is saying about him, the rest of the league's pitchers might be playing for second place in the Cy Young race.