Hello, fellow Angels maniacs, and welcome to another edition of Mailbag Mayhem. I think it's safe to say that Winter is over. I mean, it says February on the calendar, but have you been outside in Southern California lately? Ok, maybe that's a dumb question(although if you answered 'no' then please go outside right now for about 5 minutes, take some deep breaths and come back...i'll wait), but it's sunny, warm and baseball is in the air. Last time we chatted, Diablo Stadium was a ghost town, but now it's about to be filled with Angels and Spring Training hellions who made the pilgrimage to see their team get ready for the season. This time next week, games will be in full swing and we'll be inching our way towards clarity at various positions, and inching towards Opening Day. Time flies when you're having a bad off-season, I reckon.
Alright...so let's dive in to some of these Spring Training-tinged questions and i'll do my best to provide you guys with, at best, insightful answers, and at worst some competently-written words appearing on your computer screen.
@halosheaven Mike Trout: best player in baseball, or best human being on earth?— Jake Parsons (@jakeaparsons) February 25, 2016
Definitely best player in baseball. Best human being on Earth? Probably not. That should be reserved for Nobel Prize winners, activists, humanitarians, intellectuals or perhaps Tim Heidecker.
@halosheaven if trout is going to focus on stealing more bases, would we see him move up in the lineup to 2 or hit leadoff?— Chris Ball (@BallChristo) February 25, 2016
Sorry to be the one to break this to you, but Mike Scioscia seems dead set on keeping Trout where he is in the lineup. Yes, yes...it doesn't make any sense. But he's more or less stood pat on that mindset over the last couple seasons and he just doesn't "get it". Of course, maybe his new analytical team, new GM Billy Eppler, or recently returned bros Ron Roenicke and Bud Black can talk some sense into him. Each year, Spring is the time when we think that, no matter what, there might be a chance the Angels bring home a World Series trophy. And every Spring, we can also dream that this is the year that Sosh comes to his Trout-batting-order senses. I'm not holding my breath, though.
@halosheaven ...If Cron makes the All Star game do the Angels make the playoffs?— Rev Halofan (@RevHalofan) February 25, 2016
C.J. Cron in the All Star Game? Sounds dope to me. If things are going THAT well, then sure...i'll put some money down that they get a playoff spot. That could be season-saving. They had three All Stars last year, however, and we saw how that turned out.
@halosheaven why was Saunders worth going over the luxury tax threshold and no one else with skills was?— Chris Ahlers (@Chris_Ahlers) February 25, 2016
Ehhh...depends on who you're asking. I thought it was an interesting buy-low opportunity(depending on who they gave up). Billy Eppler sure as heck thought he was worth going over, though. But would they have gone over? Depends on who you ask, but I think they were about $3 mil away, and that's about what Michael Saunders would have accounted for, so it would have been right around the threshold, barely under or barely over, I think. But they would have had a year to get back under, anyway. Moot point now. We also learned today that they went after Austin Jackson, which DEFINITELY would have put them over. So yeah, looks like they were willing to break the threshold but again, they would have moved some pieces around in the next year to get back under, most likely.
@halosheaven with CJ cron entering his prime and gaurenteed playing time, do you predict an explosive offensive cron?— Anthony Abrams (@BaseballINSPACE) February 25, 2016
Another C.J. Cron question. Everybody has a huge Croner right now, I guess...taking multiple shots of Cron Royal. Hey, i'll indulge too. Mike Scioscia definitely thinks highly of Cron, according to recent comments at camp, and you'd think he's bound to put together at least one monster season, with all that power. I'm not sure this is the year, though. I'm going in with low expectations on Cron, hope to be surprised.
Steven Garrison asks: Do the angels keep jered weaver beyond 2016? I still think he has plenty left in the tank, he's the heart and soul of the team, keep the bulldog.
I'd be lying out the wazoo if I thought Weaver had anything left in the tank. I can only go off of what i've seen in his past couple seasons, where he's consistently gotten worse and has thrown softer and softer. I love him as much as you, and as much as any Angels fan(besides Mr. and Mrs. Weaver), but I just don't think he's got much left, and if that's the case, time for him to head elsewhere or hang 'em up. Prove me wrong, Jered. Please!
Daniel Duran asks: Our pitching. I hope Wilson is not in the rotation and is Weaver gonna still a starter? I love Weaver but last year it seemed he just didn't have It, and our bullpen what's the prognosis?
Weaver will be a starter, as will Wilson. No getting around that. The only question is when Scioscia will bench them, if they're obviously being outmatched on a regular basis. Scary stuff. The bullpen is interesting. Not too different from last year, really, hopefully better. You still will see a lot of Huston Street, Joe Smith and Fernando Salas. Then you got other familiar faces like Jose Alvarez and Mike Morin. Many people are hoping that Cam Bedrosian can figure things out, and if he does, awesome. Al Alburquerque will be in the mix, and keep an eye on young fireballer Victor Alcantara. He could be a surprising arm that the Angels desperately need.
Eddie Aguilar (sorta) asks: from the moves ..or really from none of the moves during the off season till now,..i dont think anybody cares and has any questions at all,theres simply nothing to ask about worth mentioning, and its obvious we pretty much got all the answers we need already,...wich was none! ........way to go Arte!
This might be my favorite question...if it could even be considered a question. But still...I LOL'd Eddie. Well played.
Troy Best asks: Will the Angels still actively pursue a more productive outfielder to fill the LF void by the end of spring training? Thanks .
Well, we learned today that they indeed went after Austin Jackson, as previously mentioned. And they tried to trade for Michael Saunders. Seems like Billy Eppler still has his eyes peeled, but with those names off the table, and Dexter Fowler returning to the Cubs, who is even left? Get used to the Gentry/Nava platoon and hope for a good camp from Ji-Man Choi. Oh, and you're welcome! :)
Jim Scully asks: Why the hell didn't this team try to get Coghlin from the Cubs for a bag of balls?
Maybe the Angels just don't have any balls? Or their balls don't hold any value whatsoever? Just a hunch.
Tom Platten will Pujols start on opening day or what?
Good question. I think they're taking their time, even if Albert Pujols wants to be starting Opening Day. I predict Albert's first game of 2016 will be on April 11th, against the A's.
Don Hicks asks: Paper or plastic, or maybe just commando?
I prefer lambskin. Or rhythm method.
Ed Herro asks: Trump? WTF?
I couldn't agree more, Ed.
Alright, folks. That's all she wrote for this week's Mailbag Mayhem. It's been real. It's been fun. It's been real fun. Again, this time next week it's going to be March, and there will be Spring Training games going on. Questions will begin to be answered, balls will be smacked, pitches shall be thrown, and blood will be spilled(you gotta figure someone gets a hangnail at some point). You made it through the Winter, and you're still here, following the Angels. For that, you deserve a medal.
Oh, and because our beloved Cupie made an appearance on the site this week, i'm going to leave you with a sick tune from his band, Stranger Kings. This album came out in late 2014, but was seriously in HEAVY rotation around the Mayhem household throughout 2015. Cupie is on guitar...total dreamboat, but hands off. He's mine. Oh, and the song is called "America's Sweetheart", so I'm pretty sure they wrote this song about Mike Trout. Enjoy!