Chat with Wally Matthews
Welcome to ESPNNewYork.com! On Wednesday, New York Yankees beat writer Wally Matthews will stop by to take your baseball questions.
Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He joins ESPNNewYork to cover the Yankees, which he's done since the days of Stump Merrill, having worked for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and 1050 ESPN Radio.
Send your questions now and join Matthews Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Wallace Matthews (1:57 PM)
Good afternoon, coming to you live from the press box at GMS Field, a/k/a The Boss. Yanks are leading the Astros 1-0, AJ Burnett pitched two good innings, Jeter hit a line drive. All is good with the world. Let's have at it.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
When will we see Jorge Vazquez play in Major League Baseball for the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium?
Wallace Matthews (2:01 PM)
Hey, Chris. Who knows? The guy is a 10-year vet of the Mexican League, clearly can hit, may be a defensive liability. I could see him being called up at some point if someone gets hurt, the way Juan Miranda was last year, otherwise doesn;t look lke a fit here. But if he keeps hitting the way he has early in the spring, that could change
Michael C. (Westport, CT)
Is it true that the Yankees are replacing Bat Day with Steinbrenner Plaque Day, in which every fan 14 and under receives a miniature version of the center field memorial to the Boss?
Wallace Matthews (2:02 PM)
actually, every fan will receive a miniature replica of The Boss
Alex R. (NYC)
If I have a good season do you think Hank will extend my contract?
Wallace Matthews (2:03 PM)
If you threaten to leave he'll probab;y extend it tomorrow
I'm opting out to sign with Philly. Good move?
Wallace Matthews (2:03 PM)
sorry, kid. no place for you in the rotation
Hey Wally, Have you heard anything about he Marlins being open to moving J.J.? If so, is it possible the Yankees can get him without giving up Banuelos or Montero?
Wallace Matthews (2:04 PM)
Haven;t heard that but I doubt the Yankees can get anyone without including at least one of those two. The wrod's out, you know. The Yanks need pitching. But keep that between us
Come on Wally, Im as delusional as any Yankee fan and there's no way Minny gives up Liriano for Nova or Joba. They shouldnt give him up for both. Nova is a 5th starter who has no experience and Joba hasnt been good for 2 years now. Clearly the Yanks would have to sweeten the pot. Please add some sanity here
Wallace Matthews (2:06 PM)
Not to knowck anyone's elses story, but you haven;t seen me write a word about this. Cashman said it;s not happening and I believe him. I also agree with you that there's no way the Yankees get Liriano for those names. Not even if they throw in Ramiro Pena
Good Afternoon Mr.Wall-E do you think if CC decides to opt-out there could be a chance that the Yankees will not re-sign him and go with the starting rotation of possibly Fransico L,PHughes,AJ Burnett,and two of the Killer B's? Thank you
Wallace Matthews (2:08 PM)
First of all, it assumed Liriano will be a Yankee, and as my pal Derek likes to say, Do not assume, Buddy. At least two of the killer B's will be in the rotation next year or the year after anyway. and it is possible that the Yankees would bid farewell to CC if he opts out because it frees them from a potentially disastrous longterm contractual entanglement with a pitcher, whihc is never a good idea. But first things first: Yankee fans should hope CC pitches well enough this year to even think about opting out.
Paul (Bloomsburg, PA)
From what I've seen in the preseason (granted it's early), it looks like we have some great young arms. How would you feel about a trade for a Liriano or Carmona or someone if it meant losing a guy like Nova? I feel like we should think about dealing position player prospects (obviously starting with catcher) before we touch our young arms. Your thoughts?
Wallace Matthews (2:11 PM)
I think there are enuf good arms in the system (the killer Bs, Warren and Noesi) that Nova could be expendable. But he would not be enuf to get Liriano, Carmona or King F. he is just the beginning of a package that might have to include someone like Montero or Romine or Nunez. It's a lot to give up and Yankees wll try hard to avoid it, hoping the young 'uns will mature sooner rather than later
Hey Wally, did you hear that Lonn Trost is going to start charging people for making the same corny jokes in your chats every week?
Wallace Matthews (2:11 PM)
if that's the case then you owe him a ton of money
ok wally you were correct...sheff is not returning.that being said,do you think the yankees will retire his number this season or wait until he goes into the hall of fame??
Wallace Matthews (2:12 PM)
The sheff number retirement ceremony is scheduled for Opening Day. 2025, that is
You are a WINNER just like me!
Wallace Matthews (2:13 PM)
Thanks, Charlie. Mons later?
Hello I was wondering how do you think the spring training battle for the #4,#5 Spots in the rotation will go? I have Garcia & Colon winning those spots but i think Prior,Nova
Wallace Matthews (2:14 PM)
No. 4 is Nova's to lose. Number 5 still up inthe air. Have only seen Colon in action once. Garcia gets his chance tomorrow. Mitre has looked like the same old Mitre in couple of relief appearances. Too early to tell who's winning that one. Prior is a reliever, period, amd likely to start out in Scranton
Hey Wally,We were talking earlier in the week on Twitter about how you don't have a lot of perks of the job. What's a typical day around the stadium during spring training and when you travel with the team?
Wallace Matthews (2:16 PM)
Clubhouse open at 8:10, closed at 9:10, workouts on the field from 10:30-1 pm,or on game days, till 12, then lunch at Max's (in-house cafeteria, very good) then game, post-game clubhouse, write story, return to hotel room. Repeat every day for seven weeks, go home, start season. Sound like fun? Sometimes it even is
jen Parrish (tigard oregon)
Hey wally= How is st going. Hey how long do you think it will take Derek to learn the new swing. Also Why do they change his swing after 16 years.
Wallace Matthews (2:18 PM)
Hi, Jen. Spring training is going well, if a little monotonous. Jeter will eventually figure it out. He hit the ball well today his second time up. The change is a concession to his age and diminished bat speed, a natural progression in a 36-y-o player. I think he will be better this year than he was last year
Shane (Clifton, NJ)
for $700K, why the heck didn't the Yanks sign Duchscherer?
Wallace Matthews (2:19 PM)
They were concerned about his problem with clinical depression and feared he would not deal well with the pressures of playing in NY
Andrew (Poughkeepsie, NY)
Do you think Ivan Nova can be a 15 game winner sometime in the future?
Wallace Matthews (2:20 PM)
I think that is a reasonable expectation if he can get over whatever psychological hurdles cause him to lose intensity/effectiveness after five innings or so
I am interested in what you think about Gardner and Granderson for this year. Where will they hit in the line up? Where will they play in the field? And what is your expectation for their performance at the plate this year? Can Granderson go 20/20 and hit .270? Can Gardner steal 50 bags and hit .290?
Wallace Matthews (2:22 PM)
I think Gardner will do better now that his wrist has been repaired. I think it had a real effect on him in the second half. Granderson looked much improved last September and has appeared to have held onto whatever he learned from KLong last season so far this season. Grandy will slide between second and sixth or seventh depending on whether a RHP or LHP is going. Gardner's spot in the lineup depends entirely on the performance of Jeter. if jeter is good, he stays a leadoff hitter. if not, I wouldn;t be surprised to see Gardner there
Paul (Bloomsburg, PA)
Two things: Can we expect to see brackman, betances, or banuelos in the bigs this year? and If the liriano thing doesnt work out, who else can the Yanks possibly trade for?
Wallace Matthews (2:25 PM)
Brackman maybe, although the groin injury set him back a few days an in a shortened ST like this one,that does not help his chances. Banuelos no; only 19, no experience above AA. Betances unlikely for same reason as Banuelos only he's 22 and considered a 'work in progress." I'm not ruling out any of them being called up as needed later in the year. Just saying none of them are going north with the big club next month
Betances for Liriano??? No way Betances has better stuff and we can get Liriano as a free agent in two years, unless someone spits on his wife!!! what do you think?
Wallace Matthews (2:25 PM)
Not happening. Got an emphatic NO from the GM on that this morning. Stop worrying
Jeff (New Jersey)
Hey Wally. What's your take on whether the Yankees can compete this year or not?
Wallace Matthews (2:27 PM)
of course they'll compete. But define compete. Does it mean win division? Wild card? Remain in the race but finish a close third? I think the wild card is a reasonable expectation, division would be a pleasant surprise. But they are the NYY, with all the resources and pressure to win that entails, and will do everything necessary to be highly competitive this season
Do you think Mark Prior makes the team?
Wallace Matthews (2:29 PM)
I would be surprised, only because he has been out so long and isn't likely to get that many innings in spring training (hes nly thrown one in agame so far). But he said he would be agreeable to a minor league assignment if there was reasonable assurance that he might be called up when ready, which is quite possible if he continues ot progress. he pitched pretty well the other day in lakeland
James (Utica, NY)
The Yankees youngsters have impressed thus far. They seemed thrilled with Montero's progress on defense and the Killer B's have looked great thus far. Can they become solid contributors sooner than we think?
Wallace Matthews (2:31 PM)
Agree with everything you say, but you must remember this is early spring training and the players you talk about are very green. Montero might start out in Scranton if Yankees determine he's better off playing regularly than sitting on the bench in the bronx. Only one of the KBs who has a real shot this season is Brackman, and that was compromised by his groin injury and brief shutdown. I'm not discounting the possibility we might see one or more of them this season, but it will be later on and only if someone gets hurt, and they continue to progress in minors
I gotta tell you, I'm sick of hearing about Jorge Posada's feelings about DHing. He hasn't been a quality defensive catcher in a long time and he still makes a lot of money. Just shut up and play.
Wallace Matthews (2:32 PM)
I'll tell him
Wallace Matthews (2:33 PM)
Thanks, guys. Great questions as always. Do it again next week? OK