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April 20, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Wally Matthews

Wallace Matthews
  (11:55 AM)

Bonjour, mes amis et amies, et bienvenue a la Yankees salle de discussion. Good afternoon from Toronto and welcome to the Yankees chat. That's all the French I got today. Plenty of Yankees, though. We'll get started in a moment. Merci

Derek J. (Bronx)

Why is everyone so consumed with my lack of hitting? Can't they just appreciate what I've done in the past and applaud my at-bats for the next five years?

Wallace Matthews
  (11:59 AM)

Don;t worry, DJ, you'll never have to pick up a dinner tab or pay for another drink in your life

BrandonL (Akron OH)

Good Day Mr.Wall E I was wondering what do you think the Yankees should do about Brett Gardner? He is not producing at all! I suggest using Andruw Jones as the starting LF...any thoughts? Thank you

Wallace Matthews
  (12:01 PM)

At this point, Brandon, I don't think they can do anything about Brett gardner except wait it out and hope he starts hitting again. I know he doesn;t have a lot of fans out there right now but believe me, he's better than he's shown so far. how much better remains to be seen. as for Andruw, i'm sure we'll see him tonight with a lefty (Brett Cecil) going for the Jays

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

When will we see Yankees P Pedro Feliciano pitch again?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:03 PM)

Hey, Chris. Good question. Yankees are hoping a six-week layoff will heal his shoulder injury but if not, then it's surgery and he's out for the season. I have the feeling this is going to play out like the Xavier Nady case a few years ago, that Felciano will wind up under the knife. My guess is we don;t see him until next spring

Benny (Bronx)

The Mets announced that all ticket holders from last night's drizzly game get a free ticket to an upcoming Mets-Pirates game. That's over 500 free tickets given out. Shouldn't the Yankees do the same on bad weather nights, and offer freebies to Mets-Pirates games?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:03 PM)

Sure. would anyone use them?

Matt (Stony Brook)

Hey Wally. Was listening to ESPN radio last week, and someone with ties to MLB said that when Jeter's abilities go, they will flat out go, there won't be any steady decline. Any truth to this? Did we see it last year and maybe now at the start of this season?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:06 PM)

Matt, how could I -- or the Expert with Ties to MLB, for that matter -- know that for sure? I think most players decline gradually but we miss or ignore the signs, especially if they;re Hall of Famers like Jeter, until they are in free-fall, so it looks as if everything went at once. Last year was certainly the start of a decline, which doesn;tmean he can;t slow it down or even reverse it temporarily. I thought he hit the ball pretty well his first two ABs last night

BrandonL (Akron OH)

Hey Wally how are things going? Great I hope...QuickQ with Vasquez tearing up Triple A ball do you think there is a chance that we could put together a package deal including him for a good OF or Starting Pitcher?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:09 PM)

Hey, brandon. the way Vazquez has hit since the beginning of spring should make him an attractive inclusion in a trade package, although only to an AL team that needs a DH. His defensive liabilities must be quite serious for the Yankees not to even consider him as a bench player off the spring he had, although I mist admit I owuldn;t know, because he rarely, if ever, played the field in Tampa. The guy's a pure hitter, period.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:09 PM)

Hey, brandon. the way Vazquez has hit since the beginning of spring should make him an attractive inclusion in a trade package, although only to an AL team that needs a DH. His defensive liabilities must be quite serious for the Yankees not to even consider him as a bench player off the spring he had, although I mist admit I owuldn;t know, because he rarely, if ever, played the field in Tampa. The guy's a pure hitter, period.

Bryan (VA) [via mobile]

Hey Wally thanks for the chat. What's the deal with Nova going forward? He still a starter after coming in in relief last night?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:10 PM)

Bryan, Nova continues to be a mystery. As of last night, Girardi said he was still starting this weekend, although he might be pushed back a day, from Saturday to Sunday. But they have yet to solve the real problem with him, which is that he is at best a five-inning pitcher.

Darrin (Ohio)

Is the the debut of the French version of Yankees chat? Do you think the pitching deficiencies will eventually come back to bite the Yankees or can they hold out until the summer? They haven't got much length except for CC. I've been reading a lot of Felix rumors so I'm trying to stay positive about him moving east.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:13 PM)

Sorry, Darrin, I used up all my French in the intro. I think we're already seeing signs of the pitching deficiencies biting the Yankees; last night's blowup by Nova cannot be sitting very well with anyone, especially considering he's failed to complete the fifth inning n two of three starts. Girardi admitted yesterday he's only going with Colon tonight because of emergency; the reservations he had in the spring he still has now, but he needs a starter. How many more good showing will Garcia give them? and last night, AJ looked uncomfortably like the old AJ again. Until I hear differently, I'm going to consider the Felix rumors simply that. Rumors

joe (argentina)

Now that Gardner is playing so badly, do you think it's time to call on another outfielder? Sheffield maybe?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:14 PM)

Joe, I'm deeply disappointed. I thought we dispensed with this issue last week.

Andy (Dayton)

Good afternoon Wally! Will the Yankees give Andruw Jones a shot to be full-time in LF? While Gardner brings speed to the team, he looks lost at the plate so far this year and isn't invincible on the abses either. Although Jones isn't what he used to be, he can't be less productive than Gardner thus far. Appreciate your work!

Wallace Matthews
  (12:16 PM)

Hey, Andy. As I mentioned earlier, I'm sure Jones will play tonight against Brett Cecil, and I wouldn;t be surprised if Girardi took a look at him against a righty over the weekend in Baltimore. I think the manager is concerned about damaging Gardner's confidence if he benches him, but at the same time he can;t ignore the reality that the guy is slowing down the lineup. At least Jones poses a power threat, something Gardner never will.

Ian (Atl, GA)

How has Hughes been doing in his strengthening program? I heard about the Long toss session on Sunday, any other news since then?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:17 PM)

Honestly, haven;t heard anything more since that same session and last night, there were too many other issues to check in on Hughes. I'll poke my nose into it later, but honestly, no one is going to know for sure if Hughes is "fixed" until he does it in a game

Eric (SI, NY)

So through this early point in the season the Yankees seem to be what we all thought. Great on offense (though Marin and Chavez have overly impressed; Gardner under) with starting pitching concerns and a pen that unless it has a bad night (ie last night) ranks as one of the best. Am I missing something?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:19 PM)

You pretty much got it nailed. This is basicaly the colun I wrote at the beginning of the week. One bright note, however: five of the regulars are hitting around .240 or below. If they start to perform more to expectations, this team might even be able to hit its way out of its starting pitching woes

Bob (Bristol, CT)

More shocking. A blown save by Mo, a grand slam by Brett Gardner, or Jeter going 4 for 4

Wallace Matthews
  (12:19 PM)

Door No. 2, Monty

yankfan (fl)

what did you think of AJ and how will Colon do?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:22 PM)

I think AJ's record makes it appear he is having a better start than he really is. Although he only allowed two earned runs last night, the third one was his fault also, and he was on the verge of self-immolating when Girardi got him out of there and Robertson bailed him out wiht 2 huge Ks. I'm not entirely convinced that the guy we're seeing this year is all that different from the guy who drove us nuts last year.As for Colon, I think he will do well tonight. How far he can go and how long he can avoid injury pitching as a starter every five days remains to be seen.

Walt (NJ)

Wally, please, please tell me we're not a week away from a rotation that includes Colon, Garcia, and Millwood? With Carlos Silva looming?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:22 PM)

OK, I won't.

Nicky Barbs (Manhattan)

Wally,I'm still stingin from the loss last night. I'm starting to feel like our bullpen isn't as beast as its hyped up to be. Joba, D-Rob and co. are streaky, Soriano and Mo (God bless him), have blown a couple games that we REALLY should've won. Ya can't blow the 2 run leads! Last night and the game against Minnesota really got to me. With all the questions regarding all other aspects of the team, we need our bullpen to be lights out. Am I overreacting? Are we gonna be all-right??

Wallace Matthews
  (12:25 PM)

I think you are a bit. The bullpen aside from Mo was excellent (I'm not counting Nova because I don;t consider him a reliever). and history tells these night from Mo are going to happen, oh, about once for every 10-11 saves. i think they can live with that. Yes, they should have won last night -- in fact, I had already written my Rapid Reaction as if they had won, that's how certain I was Rivera would close the deal -- but I don;t think you'll see them lose that way very often.

Cody (OR)

Do you this Nova,Garcia and Colon would be one of the main reasons the yankees aren't being considered as championship contendor?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:27 PM)

First of all, who isn;t considering them championship contenders. All the "experts' who confidently predicted the Red Sox would run off with everythign this year? Ha! But certainly, the soft underbelly of this team is the starting pitching. we knew this coming in. Now, it's up to the three you mention to (over) perform, or Brian Cashman is going to have a lot of work to do by the trade deadline

Keleka (Boise)

Who is the best interview in the clubhouse?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:27 PM)

probably Russell Martin. In two languages

chris (nyc)

Any time you're ready.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:28 PM)

I'm ready. For what?

mark (dc)

im going to see the yankees play in baltimore on saturday night. Any idea on who's gonna pitch?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:29 PM)

was supposed to be Nova; now he may be pushed back a day. I'm thinking CC, Freddy, Nova this weekend

Wallace Matthews
  (12:29 PM)

Thanks guy. Great questions as always. Enjoy tonight;s game and we'll do it again next week