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 ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
Send your questions now and join Matthews Wednesday at noon ET!
Wallace Matthews (12:00 PM)
How about that Andy Pettitte? Let's get started
Stuart (Englewood, NJ)
If the Yanks get swept or lose 2 of 3 to Mets, you see any changes coming? pitching or hitting wise?
Wallace Matthews (12:01 PM)
Nah. Swept, maybe, but this interleague thing isn;t nealy as important to the current regime as it was to The Boss. The next two games with Tampa are much more important. Still, don;t see any changes coming regardless until the trade deadline
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Where is 3B Dante Bichette Jr. is Playing Baseball Right Now in 2012?
Wallace Matthews (12:03 PM)
Bichette right now: .246, 1 HR, 18 RBI for Class A Charleston. Would say he is several years away from the Bronx at least
How much longer until we see Gardner back in pinstripes?
Wallace Matthews (12:04 PM)
As per Girardi yesterday, it could be as early as sunday against the Mets, but I'm thinking the atlanta series next week is more likely. Has the day off today and the Yankees want him to play 2-3 rehab games in a row without problems
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who will be the very First Pitcher to Throw a No-Hitter in the Current Yankee Stadium?
Wallace Matthews (12:04 PM)
Person who can't Recall his name (Washington, DC)
Is it likely that Andy P. plays after this year? I get the sense he's resigned himself to the fact that he's a major league pitcher, with a special talent and his competitive drive won't allow himself to stay retired when he knows he's got something in the tank.
Wallace Matthews (12:05 PM)
Honestly, if he stays healthy all season and continues to pitch the way he has, i can't see him not coming back next year. But staying healthy is a big if at his age
Any chance that el senor Gary Sheffield gets activated for the Subway Series?
Wallace Matthews (12:05 PM)
I understand he;s on the 7 train right now
How much would history have been altered if Pettitte hadn't left for Houston in 2004? Did Andy ever give any indication he regretted leaving the Yanks?
Wallace Matthews (12:06 PM)
Impossible to say and while I can;t recall an exact quote, I think Pettitte does regret leaving somewhat.
I'm frustrated with Ivan Nova's inconsistency. He shows flashes but his ERA tells the tale thusfar in 2012. I do realize he didn't turn it on until this time last year and finished the year very well. What are the Yanks (Girardi/Cash) saying about Nova and his expectations for the rest of the year? Thanks
Wallace Matthews (12:08 PM)
Publicly they say Nova is an important part of the rotation but privately I believe they must share many of your concerns. At his best, he looks like a No. 2 or 3 starter; at his worst, he looks like a Triple A pitcher. As always, the truth probably lies somewhere in between. He's probably a back of the rotation guy who, if he develops a consistent third pitch could improve considerably
do u think the yankees will win the division? I'm a big fan but i think they will come in 4th
Wallace Matthews (12:10 PM)
I picked them to win the division at the start of the season and see no reason to change my pick, because in spite of all the problems they;ve faced with lack of performance and injuries, they are right there behind the Rays and Orioles, and I don;t think they've begun to play really well yet. Maybe they never will play consistently well all season but my guess is they will heat up at some point in the summer. Fourth? wow, you;re a pessimist
I thought the trade of Melky was supposed to have fixed Cano's lack of focus so what do the Yankees do now?
Wallace Matthews (12:13 PM)
It's tough to say what the Yankees really think of Cano this season. I've asked Girardi several times, in several different ways, if he thinks Cano has regressed slightly this season and he has always said no. The guy is obviously a major talent, and he seems to take his responsibility as a team leader seriously, but some of his play, especially in the field at times, does seem a bit unfocused. Also, I believe he is less selective at the plate this year than he was two years ago, which was a big reason why he had a career year in 2010
Frank (San Diego)
If playoffs started today, who starts game 1, CC or Pettitte?
Wallace Matthews (12:14 PM)
Great question. Off recent form and track record, I would choose Pettitte but I'm not so sure Girardi or Cashman would risk alienating CC. Let's hope this situation persists into October so we can get an answer
Frank (Agawam, MA)
Do you see the Yankees resigning Rusell Martin after this year or look in another direction?
Wallace Matthews (12:15 PM)
That depends on several factors, not the least of which is the ability of Cashman to begin whittling the payroll down to the 189M threshhold that Hal S. is said to be demanding. If so, Russell is going ot have to lower his asking price, which is believed to be between 21-25M for 3 years. And alhtough Girardi always says offense isn;t all that important for a catcher, Martin is going to have to do better than .211 for them to consider bringing him back
Do you feel silly calling A-Rod a "10-15 HR" guy when he has 9 at the 1/3 mark of the season?
Wallace Matthews (12:16 PM)
I didn;t call him that. It was a typo and I meant to write 15-20 (what I actually wrote was 15-10, which obviously makes no sense). anyway. the answer is no. Let's see what the number are at the end of the season.
Will the Yankees make a run at RHP Matt Garza at the Trade Deadline?
Wallace Matthews (12:17 PM)
Depends on the performance of Hughes and Nova over the next six weeks. One of the organizational goals is to lower the amount they spend on starting pitching, and acquiring Garza, and presumably re-signing him, would not help them do that
Joe Turro (Hoboken NJ)
Does the media realize Pettitte keeps hitting 90 mph, basically the same velocity he had the last few years before his retirement... How come the media is representing it as if he's junk-balling people. He's pitching EXACTLY the way he always has, maybe 2-3 mph of his top velocity of his prime years, but nothing different then anything he's done since his mid 30's.
Wallace Matthews (12:19 PM)
when you say "the media," are you referring specifically to me? Because I can only answer for myself. And by Pettitte's own admission, his velocity is down a couple MPH from two years ago. also, several websites that track velocity have him hitting 90 only once all season, in his first start against the Mariners. You are right in your assertion that with the exception of his, ahem, Houston period, velocity was never essential to Pettitte's effectiveness but he has even less now than he ever did
any news on joba?
Wallace Matthews (12:20 PM)
Threw off a "half-mound," whatever that is, the other day but is still unable to run on his ankle, so he is probably two months away from a return at least
Joe Turro (Hoboken NJ)
How come the media never acknowledges games at hand? The Yankees are tied for 1st for all intents and purposes. They've played 1 less game, but are tied in the loss Column. Since their record is above .500, the odds say they win the random game they haven't competed in yet to match as many games played as the orioles and rays.
Wallace Matthews (12:21 PM)
Stop directing questions to "the media," please. Can;t speak for anyone else. thank you
Where do people get this idea that the Melky trade had something to do with Cano? Talk about making stuff up...
Wallace Matthews (12:22 PM)
who knows? a lot of silliness floating around out there. Considering how well Melky is doing, maybe it was the other way around. (just kidding!)
Hi Wally, I read on a couple of blogs the Yanks have explored bringing in Matt Garza or Edwin Jackson. I know you can never have enough pitching, but unless a deal involved moving Freddy they really don't have room for another #4 starter?
Wallace Matthews (12:24 PM)
Well, the Yankees history is that they like to stockpile arms, and sometimes it turns out that they do need them. For instance, why did they other signing David Aardsma? well, it turns out he will probably wind up pitching for them this year with the injuries to Joba and Mo. I don;t know exactly how they would fin either of those guys in, but if they think they need to, I guarantee they will find a way
Do you think having an Extra Wild Card in both leagues is a good idea or a bad idea,Your Thoughts?
Wallace Matthews (12:25 PM)
Generally, I am against adding more rounds of playoffs becuase besides lengthening the season, it also cheapens your final round. But I think this creates more interest, and more anxiety, around the end of the year, especially if the Yankees wind up having to play a win-or-die game to move on in the playoffs. Can you imagine the collective blood pressure of this town if that happens? Be fun to see
Morristown Mike (Morristown NJ)
how do you think we did at the draft yesterday? The kid we took in the first round apparently could have gone as high as 18. Seeemed we reached a bit on day 2, thoughts?
Wallace Matthews (12:28 PM)
Impossible to say yet. On Monday, I asked a guy in the organization who they were likely to pick int he first round and he said, "Someone we'll pretend to be excited about later." So even he was telling me the draft is a crapshoot, especially down around the 30th pitck.. So you can only imagine how little they know about these guys as it goes deeper and deeper. One bright note: Andy Pettitte? Chosen in the 22nd round
Speaking of payroll, what do you think about Swisher returning next year?
Wallace Matthews (12:29 PM)
I think a lot of it hinges on his performance in October. even though the Yankees say publicly that they don;t judge players off one week of play, the truth is that everything in Yankeeland is contingent on playoff success and even if swisher has a good year, if he follows it with a ninth straight -- or is it 10th? -- playoff bomb-out, the Yankees may decide he's not cut out for the one part of their season that really counts
The Yankees are 1 game back from the best record in the AL, yet people here are still talking like they are terrible. Bizarre. They started slowly and have had some injuries, it happens.
Wallace Matthews (12:30 PM)
Are you saying the fan base can be hysterical, overreactive, hyper-critical and entitled? I'm shocked
Wallace Matthews (12:31 PM)
Thanks guys. Lots of fun today. we'll do it again next week from Atlanta