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March 16, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Wally Matthews

Wallace Matthews
  (11:52 AM)

Good morning and welcome to the latest episode of Yankees Chat: Spring Training Edition. Yanks are playing the Orioles tonight, Ivan Nova starting, and the expected Opening day starting lineup going for the first time this spring. Clubhouse opens at 12:55 so I have no new info on Joba. Mitre is throwing a bullpen session this afternoon. We'll fire it up at noon so bring your game if you have any

Lawrence (Toronto)

In your honest opinion; on paper, who will take the AL East.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:00 PM)

Honest opinion, on paper, the Red Sox should take the division, but we know the games aren;t played on paper and a lot of things happen between Opening Day and the end of the season. Right now, I owuld say Red sox win the division, Yanks take the Wild Card

Alex (dc)

Do you see any issues with the yankees bullpen because my team the nationals I know it is spring training but we have put runs on the pen late in the games

Wallace Matthews
  (12:04 PM)

Not really. The biggest issue is Joba, and he has thrown well this spring before the injury. Feliciano was a good pickup and I have no reason to think Robertson or Boone Logan have regressed from last year. Mariano is Mariano, enuf said, and soriano, assuming he embraces the role of set up man, could make this a very strong unit. Don;t be miseld by ST runs allowed by guys like Garrison and Turpen, wo will not be with the team

Joey L. (Georgia)

Best Yankee pound for pound?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:05 PM)

Cano on offense. Mo on defense

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Who will be the Back up Catcher in 2011 for the Yankees Catcher Russell Martin?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:06 PM)

that has become a key question since quite frankly, Montero hasn;t wowed anyone this spring at bat or behind the plate. Romine is not ready and Cervelli is hurt. If the Yankees are going to make a late spring deal, it might be for a backup catcher

Duke (California )

Jorge Vazquez has been having an impressive spring training any chance he makes the team?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:07 PM)

Don;t think so because he's not as good defensively as Chavez, who is having nearly as good a spring and can play both 1st and 3rd

Duke (California )

Any chance we ever see Mark prior return to a starting pitching role?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:07 PM)

Not anytime soon. By his own estimate, his arm doesn;t have enough pitches in it at the moment to allow him to go more than three innings

Derek (philadelphia) [via mobile]

Jealous of our rotation??? I hope CC opts out and the Phils get their fifth ace next year.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:08 PM)

Yankee fans should hope CC pitches well enough to exercise the opt-out. And considering their history, just because a guy opts out doesn;t mean they don;t bring him back

Josh (Minneapolis)

Any truth to the Liriano to New York rumors?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:09 PM)

Not at this time. Liriano isn't available to anyone right now. Maybe mid-season if the Twins fall out of the race

Randy (NYC)

What's going on with the Baneulos situation? Obviously he won't be with the team for a while, if this year at all. Girardi said a day ago that there was a chance but the next day Cashman said he won't be "making this team." Obviously they are going to have the Manny rules with him but I hope they don't screw him up the way they did with Joba. Any chance they monitor his pitch count and bring him in late August for a playoff run?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:11 PM)

First of all, I'm not sure the Yankees "screwed up" Joba. it could be a case of unrealistic expectations+injury questionable work ethic equalling a guy who was never going to live up to his potential, anyway. I believe Cashman when he says ManBan is going to AA, but I owuld not dismiss the possibility of a mid-season callup depending on Yankee needs and Banuelos progression

joe (argentina)

do you have a hall of fame vote??if you do, does gary sheffield get it?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:12 PM)

I do, and probably not because of my stroing suspicions that he used PEDs

James (Toronto)

Hi Wally,What do you think Manny B's upside is and when will he be up in NY?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:13 PM)

I think his upside is limitless but as know pitchers and the most volatile of all players and the ones most likely to break down or not develop as expected. Still, I expect to see him pitching in yankee stadium by the second half of this season

Michael C. (Westport, CT)

Did MSG consult Lonn Trost before raising ticket prices 49% next year?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:14 PM)

I think the Despicable Dolans of Oyster Bay, LI are perfectly capable of ripping off their fan base without the help of mr. Trost

Benny (NYC)

Are kids being charged an extra $5 if they want to bring their gloves to a game?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:14 PM)

No. actually, they will be forced to buy a glove at the merchandise shops

Jorge P. (Tampa)

What's the over/under number of games before I publicly complain about not catching?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:15 PM)

I'll give you until the second week of the season, sado

jen Parrish (tigard oregon)

Hey wally. Good afternoon. What do you think of joba injury. and Since nova got number 4 . Do you see colon being designated for assignment.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:16 PM)

Hi, Jen. No, I don;t see DFA for Bartolo. In fact, I think he should be seriously considered for No. 5 spot, because at his best, he is better than Garcia. The next couple of starts for both will determine their fate

Jeury Castillo (New Jersey)

Where is Andruw Jones going to get most of his playing time? And who's playing time is going to suffer most because of him?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:17 PM)

Probably backup DH and backup OF against lefties if Granderson's problems with LHP persist. But I could see him taking some playing time from gardner, too. However, Jones hasn;t hit a lick this spring and right now, doesn;t deserve to replace anyone

Person who welcomes you back (DC)

Besides the obvious question of how dare you have Mr. Marchand fill in for you and your expertise, is it clearly shaking out that Mr. Montero and Mr. Banuelos will be playing important roles on this squad come July and beyond???

Wallace Matthews
  (12:19 PM)

I appreciate it, but first off, lay off Marchand. Thank you. Secondly, I think Banuelos will definitely play a role here this season, but the more I see of Montero, the more I think he needs more time in AAA. Maybe by July, his problems will be cleared up, but I'm not sure

John (New Brunswick, NJ)

So, what's the real story with Montero's ability behind the plate? Will he be passable or was his 'improvement' just hyperbole from the Yankee hierarchy?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:20 PM)

he has struggled lately and although the official word is that he has improved defensively, I still don;t see him as MLB-ready behind the plate

Brian C. (Baltimore)

Manny Banuelos is not a big dude. Is that an injury concern or does his delivery raise no warning flags?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:22 PM)

The Yankees say it is not, but it is obvious from some of the giant pitchers in their clubhouse -- just about every one is 6-5 or above--that they like to draft big pitchers. Banuelos talent may have made up for his lack of size in their eyes, and of course some of the greatest pitchers in history were not giants. Banuelos is about the same size as Ron Guidry. that didn;t work out too badly, now did it?

BD (PA)

It looks like it is down to Nova, Garcia and Colon for the final 2 rotation spots? Who is the odd man out?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:23 PM)

Mitre. But you knew that before the competition started. Of the other three, I would rank them in order Nova, Colon, Garcia

Adam (New York)

Why is Russel Martin being handed the starting job with no competition? Why couldn't Montero win the starting job with Martin backing him up?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:24 PM)

Because Martin is a proven MLB catcher who can hit a little and Montero is a kid with very limited AAA experience, who has shown this spring he simply is not ready to catch 5 big-league games a week

LeBron (James)

How's A-Rod looking this spring?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:24 PM)

Like a champion. Something you wouldn;t know about

Elvin (New York)

What is the probability of the Yankees trading for Felix Hernandez by the trade deadline and would the Mariners even consider trading him? If so who do you think they will ask for in a trade?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:26 PM)

The probability, I believe, is low, and Seattle will ask for the world. Which, if the Yankees are desperate enuf, they may give them. Would you give up Banuelos, Montero, Betances and Nova for King Felix? Not sure I would

Ben (NY, NY)

Gut feeling for #4 and #5? I say Nova and Garcia with Colon in the bullpen and Mitre on DL.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:27 PM)

Gut feeling is the right term because what i';ve seen so far, Colon looks better than Garcia. (I'm assuming Nova already has No. 4 nailed down, but anything is possible). Just wonder how much Colon not having pitched in Majors since 09 will hurt him when it comes time for Cashman and Girardi to make the call

Brian C. (Baltimore)

Is it realistic to assume that Cano will have a better or even as good a season than last year?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:28 PM)

I'll quote Kevin Long from a story I did with him last month: "It will be difficult for Swisher and Cano to duplicate what they did last year." I, on the other hand, still think he can get better. Certainly, he can do as well

Brian C. (Baltimore)

Should the Yanks hope Soriano pitches well enough to opt out? In addition to not having to pay a setup man $13.5 million, they'd get two picks to make up for the one they lost.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:29 PM)

I think the Yankees should all their guys with opt-outs perform well enough to even consider using them. That goes for CC, too. An opt-out is the kind of problem the yankees have no qualms about solving. all it takes is money

Wallace Matthews
  (12:30 PM)

Thanks, everyone, for all the great questions. Heading into the clubhouse shortly and will update you with the latest on Joba as well as tonight's lineup later this afternoon