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March 23, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Wally Matthews

Wallace Matthews
  (11:54 AM)

Good afternoon and welcome to the weekly Yankees chat. Hard to believe but when we do this a week from today all the ST games will have been played and hopefully all the roster and lineup decisions made. In the meantime we have one more chance to indulge in some of Joe Girardi's least favorite things: speculation, hypotheticals and guesswork. We'll start promptly at noon

Jo Jo B (NYC)

Should A.J. Burnett continue to pitch poorly when the season starts, is it possible the team could designate a different imbecile to perform the post-game pie-in-the-face?

Wallace Matthews
  (11:59 AM)

JoJo, cut the guy a break. The only time he shows real command is when throwing a pie

Joe S. (Brooklyn)

When a still-unretired Andy Pettitte shows up at the Stadium this year, what are the odds of Suzyn Waldman reprising her Clemens hysterics?

Wallace Matthews
  (11:59 AM)

probably very strong

joe (argentina)

how is it possible for a team with a payroll of over 200 million dollars to be so short on starting pitching...the most important part of the game??i do not understand.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:02 PM)

Couple of reasons. They were absolutely sure they were getting Cliff Lee. Call it arrogance if you like, but they knew their offer was the best and really didn;t expect the Phillies to jump in or for Lee to leave some money behind to pitch for them. secondly, the FA crop besides Lee was unusually thin and there really was no one the Yankees were inclined to overpay for. Teams knew the Yankees desperately needed pitching and made unreasonable demands for mediocre guys, so there went the trade market. Now, they;re just hoping Nova and either Colon or Garcia can get them to the trade deadline when they might be able to pry someone loose

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What will be the Starting Rotation for the New York Yankees on Opening Day in 2011?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:04 PM)

Hey, Chris. Several people have asked the question today and I'll try to answer them all here. What I think the starting rotation should be: CC, Hughes, AJ, Nova, Colon.What I think it will be: CC, AJ, Hughes, Nova and whoever the "braintrust" comes up with between Sergio Bartolo Garcia. I think it should be no contest; Colon has blown the other two away. But the Yankees continue to have concerns about his durability and stamina. So I really don;t know which way they;re going to go on this

James (Hamilton)

Hi Wally,What upside do you see Manny B. having? Will Soriano see about10-15 save opportunities this year and perhaps more in 2012?Thanks

Wallace Matthews
  (12:07 PM)

ManBan looks like the goods even though he got lit up by the Orioles the other night. I don;t think the Yankees wll rush him up to the bigs, but are banking on him in the 2012 rotation, I beleive, and a top of the rotation guy after that. as for Sori, I don;t think he'll get that many opptys if Mo is still Mo. He's going to have swallow his ego and accept second place in the pen until Mo is ready to let him take over. And I'm not sure he's going to be willing to do that. Sori, I mean

Lloyd (Columbus via NYC)

Hey there Wally....While we know the 4 & 5 spots are going to be filled by the 3 guys fighting for the spot, probably Nova and Colon. I was wondering which pitchers other then Liriano you see the Yankees making a play for mid-season? In addition what do you think the likely asking price will be?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:09 PM)

Lloyd, it's impossible to know which pitchers will be available because we don;t know which teams will still be in contention. Liriano is one of several candidates, along with maybe Carpenter and of course, everyone;s favorite, King Felix, who I don;t think wil be available regardless of where his team is at the deadline. And because it;s the Yankees, the asking price will be high: Montero, Banuelos, Betances, Nova, Nunez, or more likely a combination of several of them

Eric (Boston)

What are your impressions of Montero? Does he look ready to go north when camp breaks or does he need more time in the minors?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:11 PM)

Hey, Eric. The Yankees speak highly of Montero;s improvement on defense but he has shown some rough edges, particularly in framing pitches and blocking pitches in the dirt. He also has the reputation of having a problem with pop flies behind the plate, although he hasn;t shown it yet. The real surprise to me is that he hasn;t hit all that much, and th eother day Girardi volunteered he might be feeling some "anxiety" over being expected to perform in the majors now. I think without the Cervelli injury, no question he goes to AAA for more seasoning. Now, I think they have little choice but to bring him north

Greg (LA)

Any chance that they keep Colon, Garcia and Prior while getting rid of Mitre?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:13 PM)

Hey, Greg. Tough question. The Yankees have told me they don;t consider Garcia a bullpen candidate but do think Colon could handle the job, which potentially renders Mitre expendable, although he is a favorite of the manager. Prior has looked good all spring but the problem with him is he hasn;t been stretched out and Yanks don;t know if he can give them three innings, or even two if necessary. I think hes a likely candidate for AAA assignment and possible callup later

Mitchell (NYC)

Great reporting on Yanks. Have you spoken to independent scouts on their opinions on Colon? His ball moves like no other Yankee pitcher. I would think with that movement and throwing 92 to 94 he can be like a #3 more then a #5. Are we seeing the real Colon or just a mirage??

Wallace Matthews
  (12:15 PM)

Thanks, Mitchell. The scouts I;ve spoken to have the same reservations the Yankees have. The life on his ball is real but they are concerned about his ability to carry his stuff late into a game, esp when it gets hot later in the season. Then again, as a No. 5 with the yanks bullpen behind him, they really only need 6 good innings out of him anyway. I think what we're seeing is real. we just dont know how long he can keep it up

Benny (Bronx)

If Jeter gets off to a good start, do you think Hank will immediately add 4 years and $100-plus million to his contract?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:17 PM)

I think he already did that after Jeter had two hits the other day

Michael C. (Westport, CT)

It was reported that the parking fee at Yankee Stadium went from $23 last season to $35 this season. Was Lonn Trost?s idea to charge $30 for five innings and $7 per inning thereafter seriously considered?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:18 PM)

No, but they're reportedly considering a proposal to add a surcharge as fans exit the building if the Yankees win. No rebate if they lose

Reece (South Carolina)

Who gets the starting catcher job. and who gets the backup catcher?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:20 PM)

Hey, Reece. Russell Martin was brought here to be the starting catcher and has done nothign to lose that position. Backup catcher is another matter. Cervelli injury made the decision tougher; he was having a good spring and neither Montero nor Romine seems quite ready yet. Girardi keeps throwing Molina's name in there but I doubt he has a real shot. For some reason, I keep thinking I'm goign to walk into the yankee clubhouse one of these days and see Chad Moeller there. Again

Amanda (NY)

if grandy goes on the DL...who will be the starting center fielder on opening day.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:21 PM)

Hey, Amanda. Grandy to DL = Gardner in CF, Jones in LF. Swish in RF of course and either Golson or Justin Maxwell on the bench as fourth OF

Jen Parrish (tigard oregon)

With colon, doing so well last time out. I see him as our number 5, Do you see yankees cutting garcia or mitre . Hope yankees. Leave mitre in the pen.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:22 PM)

Hey, jen. I think if they decide to go with Colon, which would be my choice, too, they would cut Freddy and keep Mitre because of his versatility and ability to pitch out of the pen.

Steve (Toronto)

Everybodys asking it, but is the Yankees pitching deep enough to get back to the WS?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:22 PM)

Ask me in October

Brandon (Akron)

Good(Early)Afternoon!!!I was wondering what starting pitcher do you think the Yankees could get with a package deal of....Joba Chamberlain, Sergio Mitre, Ramiro Pena, Andrew Brackman, and Austin Romine?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:23 PM)

That's a, er, pretty big package and I don;t think the Yankees would give up that much for anyone short of King Felix, or maybe Sandy Koufax

bob (FL)

Hi Wally, If Bartolo makes the team would he be expected to or able to pitch 200 innings considering he has not pitched for a few years?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:25 PM)

Hey, Bob. That has got to be the only question the yankees are still wrestling with. Freddy threw 157 innings with CWS last year. Bartolo hasn;t thrown an inning since July 09. Tough call and I beleive the answer they come up with will decide who gets that job

Bartono Colon (NY,NY)

Can you help me lose weight? I really want to be the 5th starter this year

Wallace Matthews
  (12:25 PM)

should of thought of that this winter, amigo

Shawn (Bronxville, NY)

What's the status with Mark P? Is he going to make the club?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:27 PM)

hey, Shawn. My guess is no because the Yankees are loaded with middle-relievers and who do you displace to make room for him: Joba, D-Rob, Logan or Feliciano? If Prior could pitch long relief he would be a strong candidate but he hasn't asked his arm to do that yet, so I think he;s headed to AAA to stretch out first, and maybe come back later. He seems to like it here

Mark (Delaware)

Good afternoon Wally. Do you think the Yanks make a trade for a starting pitcher at the beginning of the season or before the trade deadline? What are the latest rumors concerning a possible trade?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:29 PM)

More likely before the trade deadline. there's not much available now when every team no matter how unrealistic, thinks they have a shot. Cashman says he's not working on anything; story out there says they;ve made an offer on Millwood, but since the reporter gets all his info from Boras, Millwood's agent, you have to wonder if he's just throwing that out there to attract attention from other AL East clubs. I think they'll go with what they have for now

Wallace Matthews
  (12:30 PM)

Thanks, everyone, for th egreat questions. heading to the clubhouse now, will be posting to the Yankees blog here later. Follow my Twitter feed @wallacematthews for live in-game updates of tonight;s game with the Blue Jays