It’s been awhile since I last posted a full entry on the blog and a majority of it had to do with being busy doing the radio show on AM830. January/February is not the most opportune time to be talking about baseball but through Angel Talk, we got a chance to reach out to and interact with extremely passionate Angel fans and that was a blast. Thank you for listening.
Now that Angel Talk is in the books, I can get back to a semi-regular writing schedule depending on what’s going on with the Angels and/or MLB. I figured a good way to get “back into things” would be to ask for questions via Twitter and Facebook…I’m glad I did. As always, you can feel free to connect with me via Twitter (@VictorRojas29), Facebook (facebook.com/victorrojas29) or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Let’s get to the questions…
Karina R. via Twitter: What do you think Mark Trumbo’s performance is going to be like this season?
Karina, I’m hopeful that it’s a full season of what his 1st half looked like last year. Mark is an incredibly talented player with the potential to be a supremely impactful bat in the middle part of the lineup but he got away from his approach a bit last year in the 2nd half of the season. He was patient and disciplined during the first couple months of the season and by that I mean he was willing to wait out his pitch and if didn’t get it, he wouldn’t expand his zone. The other thing that stood out for Mark early on was his approach with 2 strikes…he wasn’t afraid to just take what was given to him (especially on pitches away) and take the base hit. It’s a good reason why his averaged jumped as much as it did early on. But whatever the reason, things changed for him in the 2nd half. If he can bottle the approach he had in early 2012, there’s no reason he can’t be a 35-45 HR/100+ RBI type of player with an average north of .270.
Jeremy D. via Twiter: Do you believe the additions of Burnett/Madson will be enough to stabilize the bullpen after a couple of rocky years?
The key to both (and to ANY bullpen) is health. With Madson, it’s the rehabilitation from Tommy John surgery. He’s going through a minor setback from a bullpen session on February 1st but subsequent MRI revealed nothing more than mild inflammation, which will cause his start-time with the Angels to possibly be delayed into April. Burnett had an off-season procedure to clean out bone chips and more recently is dealing with a sore lower back. Bullpens are fickle and what Jerry Dipoto has done is add quality depth to the ‘pen and if both Sean and Ryan are healthy, that will have been the case. If they’re not, then it falls on Scott Downs, Ernesto Frieri, Kevin Jepsen and a couple of others (depending on how things shake out in spring training) to shoulder the load. To answer your question…yes, I think it’s enough to stabilize a bullpen that has been erratic at times over the last couple of seasons.
Aaron B. via Twitter: What would you think of Trumbo hitting 2nd and Iannetta 5th?
I wouldn’t think much of it cause there’s very little chance of it happening. The 2-hole has been discussed a lot this off-season and while Iannetta’s name has even come up in those discussions (mostly with fans), Trumbo’s has not. I understand your reason for asking but don’t think it’s a viable solution.
John B. via Twitter: Which of our starting pitchers (other than Weaver) do you think will have the best season?
First mailbag of the year and already putting me under the gun…thanks! Best, huh? I have not seen the guys throw yet since I haven’t made it out to Tempe yet. But if I had to pick one, it’d probably be one of the two lefty’s. CJ Wilson was well on his way to having an incredibly good season until things unraveled for him last year. Jason Vargas had a very good season with the Mariners in 2012 and has incredibly good numbers throughout his career at the Big A (3-1, 2.27 in 7 games/6 starts). Both completely different types of pitchers and yes, I’m stalling a bit cause I’m probably not going to answer. At least I narrowed it down, if that helps.
Hector D. via Facebook: What is the best part of your job?
Honestly, there’s not just one thing. I love what I do and it’s amazing to me, still to this day, that my job is to sit and talk about a game I’ve known and been around my entire life. I get to interact with players, coaches, broadcasters, fans about this thing I’m the most passionate about…baseball. I’m very blessed and fortunate to do what I do.
Robert B. via Facebook: Have you heard any rumblings or rumors about the Angels possibly signing Kyle Lohse?
One thing I’ve learned over my first 3 seasons with the Angels is if I did know something about a potential signing, I certainly wouldn’t be sharing it. I’ve heard the same things you’ve probably heard and the majority of that comes from sources not named the Angels. You never know what’s going to happen when it comes to late free agent signings such as Bourn and/or Lohse…things seems to come together very quickly and out of nowhere (at least as far as we’re all concerned). Would Kyle Lohse provide depth to a MLB rotation? Absolutely. I just don’t know if it’ll be wearing the A.
Don G. via Facebook: Tell me about the best BBQ you’ve ever had. Where is your go-to place in Kansas City?
Here we go, the first KC BBQ question of the year. I will start off by saying I have not visited Oklahoma Joe’s yet but plan on doing so when we got to KC in May. I’m a simple person when it comes to BBQ and with that said, KC has the BEST BBQ around (and I’ve tried them all). It’s been a long time since I’ve been there but I swore for the longest time that Hayward’s BBQ in Overland Park, KS was the best in town. The sauce was incredible. Today, I love going over to KC Masterpiece at The Plaza…the burnt ends are ridiculous (so much so, I’ve ordered them online).
Patti H. via Facebook: Do you know if we are able to hear the radio broadcast when we are inside Tempe Diablo Stadium?
Patti, great question. I texted the authority on Angels radio, Terry Smith, last night and he responded with: ‘In the past you could but last year, you could not. I’ve mentioned this to AM830 and we’ll see if we can get it going once again.’ I know I enjoyed listening to the game while visiting T.D. a couple of years ago, so hopefully that gets taken care of.
Scott S. via Facebook: Whom do you see becoming the everyday #2 hitter based on their skill set?
Ah, yes…the most popular question of the off-season. There’s no doubt Torii Hunter filled that spot in the lineup rather well and will do so again with the Tigers, I presume. As for the Angels, I believe it’ll come down Howie Kendrick, Erick Aybar and Alberto Callaspo. If you recall last spring training, Aybar was leading off with Kendrick in the 2-hole and things seemed to be clicking and then April hit…and the Angels didn’t. I like Aybar in that spot but I’m not the guy who’s filling out the lineup card on a daily basis. It could turn out to be a rotation of guys based on match-ups. Whoever is in that spot will benefit from hitting between Mike Trout and Albert Pujols. Much like Torii did last year.
Thanks again for all of the submissions. If I missed you this time, I’ll try to get you next time around.
Livin’ the dream…