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)
OK, let's get going.
Jason (S.B ,CA)
Mark,when the Angels send a special assignment scout to watch a game does that mean the Angels are looking at some players on those teams? Do they scout those teams for future games?
Mark Saxon (2:01 PM)
Hey Jason, The Angels now have an advance scout, Jeff Cirillo, and two special assistant scouts, Larry Corrigan and Tim Schmidt. The advance scout is looking at opponents' weaknesses for future games. If either of the other two guys are at a game the last two weeks of July, it's because the Angels are thinking about a trade for somebody on the field.
Jason (S.B ,CA)
What's the latest on the Angels drafted players? are they all sign yet?will they get sign?
Mark Saxon (2:02 PM)
Jason, Last I checked, they were virtually all signed. I imagine they're all in the process of reporting to their rookie or Class A teams. I'll check to see if they've posted any stats yet.
Any chance at a reserve All-Star spot for Trout?
Mark Saxon (2:07 PM)
Alex, He's a lead pipe lock at this point, I would think. How do you keep the leading hitter in the league out of the All-Star game?
Danny C (NY)
Is Trumbo likely to keep hitting at the pace he is at right now for the rest of the season? How many home runs do you think he will end up with?
Mark Saxon (2:12 PM)
Danny, I would be surprised if Mark has a batting average this good in September, but the power is pretty endemic to his game. When he hits it, it goes a long way. My prediction: .284, 33 home runs.
Anthony (Burbank, CA)
Mark- so this is what all the hype was about. I saw a report that the angels had a scout at the Mil/ Cin series. Assuming bullpen help?
Mark Saxon (2:16 PM)
Probably a safe assumption, Anthony, but I don't think they're scouting trade prospects just yet. That may have been part of the scout's normal coverage. Where did you see that report?
With Trout, Torii and Trumbo entrenched in the outfield, what do they do with Vernon Wells when he returns? Do they expect him to ride the bench the rest of this year and then step into's Torii's spot next season or is Bourjos expected to fill that role? I feel they have to make some type of decision on him to make sure team chemistry is not messed up.
Mark Saxon (2:18 PM)
Big-time issue, Preppy. They have about another month before this really comes to the fore. There is no way they could give Wells an everyday spot when he comes back. And to make him the fourth outfielder, you essentially make Peter Bourjos irrelevant. I increasingly think they'll simply release him when that time comes (assuming all the other guys are healthy then).
Nolen (Las vegas)
What are the Angels going to do when Vernon Wells gets back
Mark Saxon (2:19 PM)
You just missed getting that one in on time, Nolen.
Mike (Long Beach)
What Angels do you see making the All Star Team? And do you think Trumbo will be selected to compete in the HR derby?
Mark Saxon (2:20 PM)
Hey Mike, Here's my list:Mike Trout, Mark Trumbo, Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson. And, no, I don't think Trumbo will be in the HR derby, though maybe he should be. Robinson Cano will go for name brands. Apparently, he's asked Albert Pujols if he is interested.
JJG (los angeles)
What can we do about Vernon wells.....the dodger could use his bat?
Mark Saxon (2:21 PM)
Judging by the fact the Dodgers haven't scored in 30 innings, I'd say they could use just about any bat. And maybe they'll scoop him up, too.. after the Angels release him. Ned Colletti has been doing that lately.
JJG (los angeles)
Anyone realize how good the Angels could be if Bourjos could reach his potential and lead off with Trout hitting second......?
Mark Saxon (2:22 PM)
It's not as if Torii Hunter has done a poor job at hitting second, though, JJG. He's been killing the ball. In the future, you might be right, though.
JJG (los angeles)
Why has Rodney done so well with the Rays while he was bp in LA?
Mark Saxon (2:23 PM)
He wasn't so much BP as BB, JJG. He walked a ridiculous number of batters. Who knows? Maybe the insult of being essentially unused in the Angels' bullpen got him focused again.
What's wrong with Dan Haren?
Mark Saxon (2:34 PM)
Mic, I'd say it's mostly one thing: mileage. He's a big, strong guy, but pitching all the innings he has over the last seven years (and nobody has pitched more) takes its toll. He has lost about 2 mph off his fastball from 2010 and, when you pitch in the 88-90 range, that's an enormous drop. He has to have enough fastball to keep hitters honest on his splitter and cutter and it's not there. He's a gamer, though. It will be interesting to see if he can come up with an adjustment.
Is Bobby Wilson body doubling as Jeff Mathis. What are the chances he gets released/ sent down when everyone is healthy. Why not give Conger a legit shot.
Mark Saxon (2:36 PM)
John, He can't get sent down unless he agrees to the assignment (which is entirely possible). I would say he's in serious jeopardy the way John Hester is hitting. Because he's a proven defensive catcher, some team probably would snatch him up if the Angels DFA him, so he might not be long for this organization. Nice guy, by the way.
Peter Bourjous should be playing more! What are your thoughts about the outfield as Trout, Bourjous and Hunter; Trumno at third and Morales at DH?
Mark Saxon (2:43 PM)
No, I think the ship has sailed on Trumbo at third, Steve. He doesn't have the physical tool set to play that position, but he's perfectly adequate in the outfield, especially right. And the way the other outfielders are hitting, I'm afraid the only place for Bourjos is as the fourth outfielder. Next season, I think he'll start in center, with Trumbo in right and Trout in left. That's an exciting group for years to come.
Mark do you think the angels will pick up haren and santanas club options at the end of the year
Mark Saxon (2:44 PM)
Hmmm, both are very much on the fence, Mike. I would say both pitchers will need to have solid second halves to stick around. Santana probably has a better shot of sticking around even though his numbers are inferior to Haren's because his stuff is holding up better and his option isn't as pricey.
Let's see, the Dodgers already have Abreu, Rivera, and Kennedy. If they picked up Wells, do you think the Mariners would FedEx Chone Figgins there, or just fly him in and drop him in the middle of Dodger Stadium?
Mark Saxon (2:45 PM)
I think the latter. He'll come parachuting in like those Navy SEALs do at Angel Stadium.