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 1 p.m. ET!
Wallace Matthews (11:58 AM)
Good morning everyone. Just about ready to go here. Be with you in a sec
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Do you think that Marino Rivera will Pitch again in 2013 since we all know that he is Out for the Season with a Torn ACL?
Wallace Matthews (12:02 PM)
I believe he will. as I understand it, the injury is easily reparable these days and coming back from it is just a matter of being willing to put in the work to rehabilitate the knee, which I think Mo will. And the Yankees will certainly want him back for another year, at least. The question is, how much does a year away from the game take out of a body that will be 43 years old in November. The Yankees position is Mo will have rested for the year and so should not lose any effectiveness. My only concern is that from y own experience, a body that is a year older is not a body that is a year better
Krisvick8123 MO [via mobile]
Soriano going to bite into Robertson's saves enough to matter?
Wallace Matthews (12:04 PM)
I doubt it, because I don;t think he'll get that many opportunities. It all depends on how many days D-Rob can go back-to-back. That was one of Mariano's great strenghts, that he could go 3 or 4 days in a row with no loss of effectiveness. (two inning saves were another matter altogether). As long as Robertson is able to bounce back I don;t see Girardi calling for soriano in too many save situations
As I look at the Yanks offensively I see a team that's boring, HR or doesn't score, plays poor situational baseball , has played a sloppy brand of baseball (doesn't advance runners, doesn't take the extra base, lacks athleticism. )They lost to the Tigers last year because they didn't score and I don't see anything yet to believe this year will be different.Your thoughts?
Wallace Matthews (12:07 PM)
I don;t see them quite as bad as that but I do agree that while most of the concern this spring and early season has been about the pitching, the fact that the hitters are what cost them the ALCS last year is often overlooked, although I have tried to remind everyone of this as often as possible. The Yankees seem to take for granted that they will hit, but once agian we see Teixeira have a miserable start, A-Rod lacking the power he once had, and -- something the Yankees and their fans often forget -- they no longer have the advantage of an offensive force at catcher, which theyhad with Posada. So yeah, I think they may overestimate their offensive abilities somewhat. Their offense is still explosive at times, but also maddening inconsistent
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who will Andy Pettitte Replace on the Yankees Rotation?
Wallace Matthews (12:07 PM)
I'm thinking Phelps, but ask me again after tonight;s game. Only other candidate is Hughes
Hey Wally, Don't get me wrong I love everything Andy Pettitte has done and will continue to do as a Yankee, but shouldn't we keep the young guys in the rotation, Phelps, Hughes, and let Pettitte pitch in long relief? Both will be here longer then Pettitte so let them develop right?
Wallace Matthews (12:09 PM)
The Yankees certainly didn;t sign Pettitte to be a mop-up man. I understand your point but the New York Yankees is not a place fo playter development or on-the-job training. They are a win-now organization and they believe Pettitte, becauise of his experience and toughness, gives them a better chance to win than the young guys, most of whom have not been there before. They may change that assessment after seeing Pettitte pitch a few times, but right now, they are counting on him as an every-five-days starter
Greg (New York)
With all this talk about the future of the Yankees, they have some really good pieces in the system that could fill out a nice roster, RF-Tyler Austin, CF-Mason Williams, 3B-Daunte Bichette Jr., SP-Manny Banuelos, RP-Dellin Betances. Thoughts?
Wallace Matthews (12:12 PM)
Yes, but it's all theoretical at this point. The P word -- for potential-- is the most misleading word in sports. Neither Banuelos nor Betances is anywhere near ready yet. The Yankees are very high on Mason williams, but he's just a kid who needs lots of development. Ditto for Bichette, who I met in spring training. He isn;t very big and needs more time to develop physicaly. Haven;t seen much of austin, I must confess. On paper, these guys look like the nucleus of an excellent future Yankees team, but that';s only on paper. there's still a lot to be done on the field
When will Robertson next allow a run, 2015?
Wallace Matthews (12:13 PM)
Ha!. he came pretty close to allowing one last night. Robertson is very entertaining to watch but you have to wonder how long he can survive living on the edge as he does every night. It wll be interesting to see if he can continue to pull off this act in the ninth inning, without the safety net of Mo behind him. I wrote a column about this last week. it's in the archive
Jim (Utica, NY)
Pettitte's numbers in the minors have not been all that impressive thus far. Do you believe he's ready to be effective at the big league level yet?
Wallace Matthews (12:16 PM)
I agree, and I sensed that Girardi wasn;t entirely sure about Pettitte's readiness after hearing his numbers on Sunday. But he and Cashman are relying on the observations of people they have hired specificially for this purpose, notably Nardi Contreras, and apparently the internal reports they have gotten indicate Pettitte is ready to go. and besides, I asked Girardi last week which he would look at more closely, results or pitch count and he said without hesitation, pitch count. Pettitte has thrown 90+ pitches back to back, so by Girardi's yardstick, he's ready
Wally Why Yankees have mediocre record? Are they a mediocre team?
Wallace Matthews (12:17 PM)
I thknk they';re better than mediocre but their hitting may not be all they expected it to be, and they have not gotten the consistent performances they were counting on from Kuroda and Hughes. and don;t forget, no one anticipated the loss of Pineda. But as we know, the Yankees will take the steps necessary to remain competitive all season long.
Jim (Utica, NY)
I saw that Brett Gardner has started a rehab assignment in the minors. When should we expect him back with the Yanks?
Wallace Matthews (12:18 PM)
I would think by Friday at the latest. Two or three rehab starts is usually enough
Hello Wally, How are you? I hope all is very well. Regarding David Robertson, it is granted that he does pull a Houdini act a lot but sometimes he does strike out the side 1-2-3 also or allows just one baserunner to 1st while pitching 1-2-3 inning including strikeouts so he if he just lowers the frequency of Houdini acts he will be great? Agree? Thank you very much for reading this and I very much look forward to your response! All the best!
Wallace Matthews (12:20 PM)
Hey, JJ. Robertson;s ability to get the strikeout when he needs it is one his strongest qualifications for the job. And I happen to enjoy the Houdini act. It adds the kind of suspense to the game that Mariano never did, even if it does play havoc on whatever I was planning to write as we head into the 9th inning. I see lots of tearing up and re-writing in my future
Gardner is one of, if not the best defensive outfielder in the league. He was also quite good at the plate this year before going on the DL. Do you see him ever playing center regularly as a Yankee?
Wallace Matthews (12:21 PM)
Not as long as Curtis Granderson is here. So we'llknow when Grandys contract runs out after 2013, assuming, as I am, that the Yankees pick up his option
Crazy how the city of NY reacted to Mariano's injury ( http://youtu.be/LTj4fXizfHM ) How do you think they will react to David Robertson coming out of the pen to close games?
Wallace Matthews (12:22 PM)
I think Robertson is a fan favorite and likely to get a long honeymoon period. Which in this town, could last like, a game or two
Jim (Utica, NY)
With Mo going down with the ACL injury are the Yanks looking to make any trades for some relief help? Or will they wait until closer to the deadline to try and help bolster the 'pen?
Wallace Matthews (12:23 PM)
Cashman said no yesterday. He thinks his answers are either on the roster (phelps or maybe even Hughes) or in AAA
Any word on how Joba's doing with the injury? With the injury to Mo, seems like a great opportunity to Joba to get into everyone's good graces again.
Wallace Matthews (12:24 PM)
I saw Joba last week and he seemed to be doing well. He actually lost weight after the ankle injury and told me he had been throwing from a chair during the time when he couldn;t stand up. Was walking easily in a protective boot when I saw him. Couldn;t tell you, however, if he is likely to pitch this year
Draiden (Chico, CA)
Despite Robertson's amazing ERA and awe inspiring way to put away hitters when he needs to, is he a viable closer with the amount of people that he puts on base?
Wallace Matthews (12:26 PM)
I think so, because he's a strikeout pitcher with a calm demeanor and a short memory. and I hate to bring up this name, but Valverde has done pretty well with an act similar to Robertson's, hasn;t he? I think Yankees fans are going to have to accept that Mo was one of a kind and that most closers don;t make the ninth inning quite as routine as he did for 15 years
Wally, we all know that Derek Jeter has been on fire offensively this season. How has his defense (which has, in recent years, been below average) been stacking up?
Wallace Matthews (12:27 PM)
Travis, I was never in line with thje stats geeks who cut the field up into 100 slivers to determine range factors, etc, in deciding Jeter was a lousy shortstop. OK, so he doesn;t get to everything, but just about everything he does get to, he gobbles up, and his arm is still a rifle. So the short answer is, I think he's doing fine. (Would you rather see NunEEEE out there?)
what is with soriano's body language on the mound, looks like the guy could care less? What's your opinion on him and have you gotten to know what type of guy he is?
Wallace Matthews (12:29 PM)
I have gotten to know him a little bit and my initial reaction was the same as yours. Now, I see him as a kind of withdrawn dude who doesn;t have a lot of close friends on the team but is basically a decent guy. I think he does care, but doesn;t do a great job of showing it.
Wally, Pettitte has looked pretty bad in the minors - why do all Yankee fans think he's going to be the savior? Dude hasn't thrown a pitch in the majors in 18 months. My question is: if Pettitte comes back and struggles, is his spot in the rotation guaranteed?
Wallace Matthews (12:30 PM)
Because Yankee fans think they need a savior. I agree with your reservations on his time away. And to answer your question, nothing is guaranteed to anyone on the New York Yankees. Just ask Jorge Posada
Can you elaborate on these complications Rivera is having on his knee?
Wallace Matthews (12:31 PM)
I can't. Mariano will speak this afternoon. One thing I can tell you is he did not tear his MCL, which owuld have been catastrophic. The combo of ACL, MCL and meniscus is known as The Terrible Triad and almost always results in the end of a career. So the good news is, its not that
Wallace Matthews (12:32 PM)
Thanks, everyone. Sorry I didn;t get to them all but the ones I did get to were very good, as always. Let's do it again next week, shall we?