Chat with Wally Matthews
Welcome to ESPNNewYork.com! On Thursday, 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 ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
Send your questions now and join Matthews Thursday at 1 p.m. ET!
Wallace Matthews (12:58 PM)
Hi everybody. Let's chat, shall we?
Corey (Louisville,ky) [via mobile]
Wally! thanks for all the coverage. how about pettites performance yesterday? should we be concerned about d robs performance in September? your the man
Wallace Matthews (1:01 PM)
Thanks Corey. I see the check cleared. I thought Pettitte was fine yesterday, esp for having been off nearly three months, and I expect he will get better as he goes along. Pettitte actually had fewer swings and misses in this one than any start he has had all year, but i suspect that will improve as he becomes sharper. as for d-Rob, it was probably unrealistic to think he could match last season, when he was not only the best pitcher on the Yankees but one of th ebest in all of baseball. still, he is far more hittable this year and less able to get the big strikeout when he needs it. I think it is somewhat troubling for the postseason
Is it too early to start getting optimistic about the idea of a CC/???/Hughes/Nova/Phelps rotation?
Wallace Matthews (1:02 PM)
A little early on Phelps, I think, although ever time I see him I like him more. I assume you;re talking about two years down the road, because I'm expecting the Yankees trying to bring Kuroda back on a one-year deal. Or is he the ????
Tony The J (Decatur, IL)
Do you see Kyle Lohse in pinstripes next year?
Wallace Matthews (1:03 PM)
Have never heard his name come up in discussions and do the yankees really need another back end of the rotation guy?
Yankee Flyer (NH)
Wally, in your humble opinion, which (if any) Yankees have had better seasons than you expected? For my money, Jeter and Soriano stand out. Beyond them, it just seems like a team full of highly paid but underwhelming performances.
Wallace Matthews (1:05 PM)
You hit the two on the head. Other than that, no offensive player has played up to his capabiliites and a few have played below. among the pitchers, I would say Eppley and Rapada have stuck it out longer than I expected and have done well when used judiciously by Girardi. And BTW, my opinion has rarely been considered humble. Thanks for that
CC, Kuroda, Pettite, Nova, Hughes, Phelps, Rapada, Eppley, Logan, Joba, Robertson and Soriano - that's 12 pitchers.Tex, Cano, Jeter, Arod, Chavez, Nunez, McGehee, Martin, Stewart, Ichiro, Swisher, Grandy and Dickerson - that's 13 position players.Right or wrong?
Wallace Matthews (1:06 PM)
Looks about right. I just wonder if a guy like mcGehee, who almost never plays, might get sacrificed for Brett Gardner. A longshot, I admit, but a possibility
Matt (Fair Lawn, NJ)
Hey Wally, do you see the Yankees pursuing either Josh Hamilton or Zack Greinke during the off season? The Yankees rotation looks like it could be in the rough if they can't re-sign Kuroda. Thanks!
Wallace Matthews (1:08 PM)
Hey, Matt. The Yankees have privately, and perhaps publicly, stated that they don;t believe greinke would be a fit in NYC because of his past history of anxiety disorders. I think Hamilton will be tempting to them but they will ultimately pass because of two things: his own erratic off-the-field history and the likelihood that his deal would turn into another albatross a la a-Rod/Tex. I think they will push hard to bring Kuroda back and from what I have gathered, he likes it here
Mark (Belmont, NC)
What will the Yankees do with the postseason roster if Brett Gardner is healthy enough to play? Of course, I am projecting a postseason berth.
Wallace Matthews (1:10 PM)
I kind of just addressed that, but let me go further. I think the Yankees may not have the luxury of carrying a guy who can only play defense and PR, esp if there is any concern about Teixeira's health. if there is, you probably need to bring along Steve Pearce or Casey mcGehee as an emergency first baseman, which leaves no room for Gardner. But I do think it's a possibility if Girardi feels they need more speed and defense
Not that this is an ideal outcome by any means, but how significant an impact would A-Rod failing to reach some of his back end milestones have on the team's payroll plans?
Wallace Matthews (1:11 PM)
probably not much. In total, it adds up to $30M and the way he is going, it's doubtful he will reach more than one -- 660 HRs -- which would only cost them $6M. Or $2M less than they have paid Pedro Feliciano for never throwing a pitch
It's not looking like the g.d. Orioles are going away. If the Yanks have to play in the Wild Card play-in game, who would Girardi ideally pick to take the bump? Who would you pick?
Wallace Matthews (1:12 PM)
No, they;re not, are they? That question is one that I'm sure keeps Girardi up at night and it depends a lot on who he needs to use to get him there. The way things lay out right now, assuming they stay on rotation, it would probably be Pettitte, who loses one turn because of the rainout
Bobby P (Guatemala)
Hi Wally ,always following you and the Yanks from Guatemala.Dont you think its a good idea to give a shot to Nuni in right field for next year given the Swish almost certain not coming back situation?they could start training him in winter ball.I think he has a decent arm and he brings a lot to the offense and also I would like to see him in a full season to see exactly his potential.take care.
Wallace Matthews (1:14 PM)
Hi Bobby and thank you. If you recall, Nunie had a couple of games in the OF this year and was a disaster, and what you propose would require a drastic change in the Yankees thinking. They still see him as a SS and unless they send him to winter ball to learn to play the OF, I don;t see it happening. But i agree Nunie is an interesting offensive player with a strong, if erratic arm who needs to find a position because he is an asset to the lineup
BillL06 (Greenwich, CT)
Yankee Stadium is one of the most expensive venues to see a baseball game. The Yanks have tons of money from the YES Network and also from their concessions at the Stadium. I think the Yanks are selling out their fans by stating their payroll won't exceed $189 million in 2014. Your thoughts?
Wallace Matthews (1:16 PM)
I agree with you on principle -- without seeing the books, it seems pretty obvious that the Yankees can spend 200M-plus without feeling it -- but you have to understand that Hal S. is by nature a bean counter and when he says he sees no reason why a GM can;t build a winning team for $189M, which will not only be the luxury tax threshhold in 2014 but also, I;m sure, still the highest payroll in baseball, even Cashman had to agree with him.
All this talk aout next year's rotation - what about Pineda? And Pettite thinking he might want to come back..
Wallace Matthews (1:18 PM)
Who? Oh, yeah, him. Honestly, I forgot all about him and I think a lot of other people have as well. Obviously, he'll be in the mix provided he puts the necessary work in to come back from a serious shoulder injury. and not to judge off an isolated incident, the DWI, but so far he hasn;t shown that kind of dedication to his craft. But people can and do grow up, and maybe he will
Orioles' remaining schedule has 2 off days, plus play against injury-depleted teams BoSox and Blue Jays. Appear to be easier than Yanks' : No off days, play A's , Twins, Jays, BoSox. A concern for their playoff chance?
Wallace Matthews (1:19 PM)
The only real difference is the off-days. Once the Yankees get past the As, they have 10 soft games that they should be able to win 7 of. And don't negate the effect of having to go the West Cost and play extra inning games on consecutive days, one of them 18 innings. So I think the two schedules are pretty much a wash
BillL06 (Greenwich, CT)
What's your opinion on CC's drop in velocity?
Wallace Matthews (1:21 PM)
I think he's harboring some kind of injury. Either that, or all the years of 240+ innings is taking a toll, although guys like Seaver, gibson, Carlton etc. routinely threw 275-300 for years and rarely had arm issues. But there is definitely something going on there.
Any updates on Mark Teixeira? It would be pretty awesome to somehow, after all the injuries, head into the post-season at full-strength.
Wallace Matthews (1:22 PM)
The last thing we were told is that Tex needs at least another week of rest and would not play before the Yankees get to Toronto next Thursday. I have the feeling he is never going to be fully healed this season
BillL06 (Greenwich, CT)
Do you think the Yanks are too slow in allowing their young people a chance to play in the majors on a regular basis? Gardner was unnecessarily (IMHO) platooned last year. They're playing around with Nunez this year even though when he's on the team, the offense seems to come alive. I'm guessing that if Mike Trout was a Yankee, he'd still be bouncing back and forth between Triple A and the majors. After all, Trout only hit .220 in 40 games for the Angels in 2011. I feel confident the Yanks brain trust would want to give him more time to mature while giving his spot to guys like Ibanez and Jones. Your thoughts?
Wallace Matthews (1:25 PM)
I think part of it is that Girardi doesn;t fully trust young players, and another part of it is an organizational philosophy based on the star system, which it appears to me they believe attracts high-end ticket buyers, and they're probably right. For you, a real baseball fan, the priority is seeing a winning team but as we've seen at MSG with the Knicks and Rangers, the way to fill those $1500 seats to the casual,i.e., corporate, fan, is with big names. It's a dumb baseball philosophy but I suppose a smart business move. although there's always a ton of empty seats inside the moat, aren;t there?
Wallace Matthews (1:28 PM)
Thanks everyone. we'll do this again next week from lovely downtown Minneapolis