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 noon ET!
Wallace Matthews (12:07 PM)
My apologies, everyone, but everything is running a bit late today after last night. We'll go an extra 10 minutes or so to make up for it. Thanks
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Do you think that we will see Jesus Montero Catch for the New York Yankees in 2012?
Wallace Matthews (12:08 PM)
Hey, Chris. Possibly, but Girardi has said he probably would not start him behind the plate but might insert him late in a game. and the way he is hitting, no one seems all that concerned about his catching abilities right now
What roles can we expect to see Brackman and Betances (if he is called up) play down the stretch for the Yankees?
Wallace Matthews (12:10 PM)
Probably long or middle relief. Brackman especially, is in audition mode because the Yankees have to decide whether or not to pick up his option for next year. I'm sure he won;t get a start, but as for Betances, if the division is sewn up in the final week and Girardi is looking to line up his post-season rotation, maybe he'll get a start in the TB series.
My worst nightmare happened last week vs Boston. A.J. turns in a decent start and he is granted another chance in the rotation! Off of one start??? That is fool's gold. Maybe I am a bit strong, but I don't think A.J. can ever be trusted to be a consistent starter again. He just may be one of those guys who can't cut it in NY. They should help both parties out and dfa him and let him go somewher else and succeed. If they can pay Igawa millions to be a minor league, why can't they do this?? Didn't Hughes' outing last night also show them, that even though he will have a hiccup here or there, he is a better option for consistency?? Otherwise, won't he be "Joba'd" with all the movement back and forth and could hinder his growth longterm?
Wallace Matthews (12:12 PM)
I must say I was not surprised because while Girardi kept saying one start would not affect a pitcher's status either way, he also kept mentioning AJs 2009 season and how the Yankees knew he was capable of pitching well in October. It seemed like he was looking for excuses to keep him in the rotation and as you know, he stil has not cut down to 5 starters, as promised. whether this is because of pressure from cashman or the SteinBros, or because of uncertainty about Hughes, I don;t know, but it certainly seems like AJ continues to get a free pass
what is the reason for betances getting called up before banuelos is it simply an age thing?
Wallace Matthews (12:13 PM)
I think that is part of it. The Yankees also were concerned about "lack of command" on some of ManBan's pitches and he did have some control problems in AA. My best guess is they just don;t think he's ready yet.
jj (salem, ma)
Wally, has did AJ's last start/'new mechanics' do anything to raise the teams' confidence level in him?
Wallace Matthews (12:15 PM)
it's tough to tell. None of the Yankees would ever publicly express lack of confidence in a pitcher, and very few would do it provately. I did sense a bit of "let's see what happens next" from Russell Martin after the Boston game, but I get the feeling the Yankees keep waiting for the good AJ to show up and most of them continue t believe he eventually will
David R. (Mineola, NY)
What are Robinson Cano's chances at getting some MVP votes due to his recent surge?
Wallace Matthews (12:17 PM)
I'm sure he'll get some botes but I think Granderson is a stronger candidate. But I think several things work against any Yankee getting it: The fact that there are two strong candidates, and three if you want to throw CC in the mix, as my friend and colleague Johnette Howard did the other day, which will split the vote, and the belief throughout the league that no one individual is all that indispensable in a lineup as strong as the Yankees. if I had an MVP vote, it would go to Granderson. But I don't. I;ve got Mgr of the Year and right now, I;m not sure who I'm voting for.
Would montero be the starting catcher next year? In the short term future this year could montero be the everyday dh?
Wallace Matthews (12:19 PM)
interesting question. Every time Girardi is asked about Montero's defense, he says it has improved, but he still won't start him at catcher in any of the remaining games, and I think the Yankees are happy enough with Martin that they may re-sign him at a reasonable cost. For now, I think Montero will get plenty of DH ABs.
jj (salem, ma)
Wally, are the bigger bats (Cano, Jeter, Tex et al.) available off the bench today-just heard the starting lineup today-sheesh
Wallace Matthews (12:20 PM)
Yes. This was just Girardi's Give The Old Guys a Rest lineup. most of the players left the park after 2:30 am, probably didn;t get to bed before 4
Whats with the minor league lineup today? Is it just rest for the players who played in last nights game? Can we expect pinch hit abs from Granderson, Gardner, Jeter, etc.?
Wallace Matthews (12:21 PM)
See previous answer. Girardi's just giving his older guys a rest after the late night., and I assume all are available to PH. A-Rod, of course, did not play last and is therefore availale today
Wally - is there a bigger fraud than the Yankees "graciously" giving tickets that they wouldn't otherwise be able to sell, to fans screwed out of attending last night game (mid week upper deck with restrictions)?
Wallace Matthews (12:22 PM)
Your word, not mine. But I did think it was a little, er, fraudulent, that the tickets are for next year, not for any remaining games this year, and exclude Opening Day, OT Day, Yankes-Red Sox and Yankees-Mets. But what the hey, free is free, so it's tough to be too critical about it.
With Montero DHing only now would it affect his catching?
Wallace Matthews (12:24 PM)
Well, he's catching some bullpens, but one of Girardi;s concerns with using him behind the plate is that he's not familiar with this pitching staff. The Yankees would rather start clean with him again next spring training, where hopefully he won;t choike away his oppty like he did last time.
Montero legit? or is he just way over-hyped?
Wallace Matthews (12:25 PM)
Too early to tell. Very hyped. Very talented. Overhyped? we'll see
Betances is on the 40 man and Banuelos is not.
Wallace Matthews (12:26 PM)
That can be easily fixed. I'm sure there are other reasons since the GM has been saying all year ManBan was not coming up
See Scraton playing the Orioles today. Could this be the first time a minor league team beats an MLB team?
Wallace Matthews (12:26 PM)
How about the days the Mets win? (only kidding. Sort of)
Does it look like that Posada is now more of a spectator in the clubhouse? Would he be on the playoff roster cause what he has done to the team in his career, or no matter, he is bad and his career his over?
Wallace Matthews (12:29 PM)
I wouldn;t say so, but his presence has certainly been diminished. There's no delicate way to put this, but the Yankees clubhouse is certainly in transition and it even seems as if Jeter has less of a presence than he used to. Mariano still reatains a great deal of influence, but there's no doubt that new leaders are emerging -- CC, Cano, Tex and yes, A-Rod. Whether Posada is on the playoff roster may very well depend upon what Montero shows in this final month of the season.
Didn't Montero catch Nova all of last season?
Wallace Matthews (12:30 PM)
Yes, but Nova is a different pitcher this year with the addition of the slider,a pitch Montero hasn;t see yet. And I suspect that while the Yankees say his defense has improved, they're still not sure if he is MLB game-ready
Mike (Long Island)
I get a kick (well, not really) about people complaining about the Yankees over-hyping their prospects. Last time I checked, the Yankees don't write stuff for Keith Law, or any of the analysts at Baseball America/Baseball Prospectus that independently rate prospects and put Montero, Betances, Banuelos, etc. in the top 100 lists.
Wallace Matthews (12:31 PM)
If you consider the GM's refusal to trade away his young players for high-ticket veterans as "over-hyping," then I guess that's it. But I agree with you -- guys like Banuelos,Montero and Betances have been rated highly by independent sources as well as the Yankees.
Who's going to replace Swisher next year? No way they can pay that bum $10m with a .250 BA
Wallace Matthews (12:33 PM)
I wouldn;t count out the prospect of Yankees picking up Swisher's option if he finishes with 25+ HRs and 90 or so RBI. OBP is still good (.380) and he's actually hitting .266 right now. If they can do better than that for the money, they will. But I'm not sure they will.
megan (Long Island)
How good is the Yankees far system? On a grade of A to F?
Wallace Matthews (12:34 PM)
If Montero, banuelos and Betances pan out as projected, it's an A. If Brackman washes out, a distinct possibility, then maybe an a-minus/b-plus. Plus there ae guys lke Gary Sanchez a few levels down who are expected to develop well. Overall, I'd say the farm system is pretty strong
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Which Players will no Longer be Yankees after this season either being traded or signed with other teams?
Wallace Matthews (12:36 PM)
I would guess Freddy and Bartolo will be gone. Posada too. swisher maybe, but his recent resurgence makes it a 50-50 or better chance that they pick up his option. Montero should win the backup job from Cervelli. Andruw Jones is probably outta here. Anyone I didn;t think of?
Seems like the Yankees are auditioning Montero. Any chance they package him to Seattle For King Felix in the offseason?
Wallace Matthews (12:37 PM)
Maybe, but they genuinely seem to love his bat and altho Russell Martin has been very good, I don;t think he's seen as a long term solution. Cashman has always said it would take a special set of circumstances for him to part with Montero; maybe King Felix is that set
Wallace Matthews (12:38 PM)
OK, guys, gotta go. Again, sorry for my lateness. we'll do this again next week on the West Coast trip