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February 23, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Wally Matthews

Wallace Matthews
  (3:00 PM)

Good afternoon everyone. This chat is coming to you live from the pressbox at Geo. M. Steinbrenner Field, otherwise known as The Boss. Let's get started

Nick (MN)

Who is a bigger threat to the Yankees in the AL East... Rays or Red Sox?

Wallace Matthews
  (3:01 PM)

Nice. Start me off with an easy one. Tough call but at the risk of enraging The Nation, I'll say the Rays because of all the live young arms. I think Bobby V will wake up the Red Sox but Boston has a lot to prove after last season

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What 2012 Yankee will be working for Sports Television such as ESPN,Fox Sports,YES, or SNY once he Retires from Baseball?

Wallace Matthews
  (3:03 PM)

Swisher, maybe. David Robertson could do it. Rafael Soriano? If we're including non-players, I think the GM would be a terrific and very candid analyst. Maybe too candid for some places.

Alex (Anaheim)

How many games do you see Ibanez starting?

Wallace Matthews
  (3:04 PM)

A lot depends on how his body holds out at age 40 but Posada started 80 games as a LH dh last season, with another 15 or so picked up by Chavez, Cano, Granderson, etc., so I would think the plan is for that work to go to Ibanez with some occasional start in left field. I would guess 100-115 games is a reasonable expectation

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What do you think what will P Mariano Rivera will do after the 2012 Season?

Wallace Matthews
  (3:06 PM)

when a guy says he will not change his mind "even if I save 90 games or they offer me any amount of money," it sounds like retirement. If he had said he wouldn;t change his mind "even if I save only two games and they offer me just 50 cents," it sounds like a return. Mariano said the first one, not the second.

Joe nj Monroe [via mobile]

How many wins do you think the pin strips will get this year

Wallace Matthews
  (3:06 PM)

They won 97 games last year and on paper they are better. So let's say 98

Person who doesn't think Gary Sheffield is coming back (Washingt

What are your early impressions of Andruw Jones and Phil Hughes? Do you think, long term view, it makes sense that Hughes wins the fifth rotation spot if their performances (Garcia and his) are equal in the spring?

Wallace Matthews
  (3:08 PM)

Jones: still a nice man with a big smile. also 10 pounds lighter entering his walk year. Otherwise, not much to go on yet. Same thing with Hughes. I';m writing on Hughes today that will address exactly that issue. it will be up this afternoon.

Nick (Connecticut)

Does Gary Sanchez get to see any playing time in ST games this year?

Wallace Matthews
  (3:09 PM)

Possibly. He took drills with the other catchers today and looked pretty mobile for a guy as big as he is.

Nick (Connecticut)

Is this the year where someone finally beats it in to Phil Hughes that he has to throw a changeup?

Wallace Matthews
  (3:10 PM)

Girardi touched on that today, and said Hughes has to find a pitch to put guys away with, bec. as we have seen, his FB isn't doing it. But haven;t we said the same thing about Hughes and the changeup for the previous two springs, too?

David (New Jersey)

How good of a pick up was David Aardsma? Should we expect anything from him in 2012?

Wallace Matthews
  (3:12 PM)

Potentially very good but no one really knows what to expect from him this year because as Cashman pointed out yesterday, while they were satisfied with the result of his physical, he hasn't been a Yankee so they really haven't seen the details of his rehab to know how far along he is or how close he is to returning. Since he had his TJS a month after Joba, it is expected he won;t return until late July/early August at the earliest, if at all this season

David (New Jersey)

Who do you think will fill the final roster spot for the 2012 team?

Wallace Matthews
  (3:13 PM)

Depends on whether one of the LH relievers impresses enough to make the team. Otherwise, the Yankees might see fit to carry a reserve OF like Dickerson or a reserve INF like Brandon Laird or Ramiro Pena. But I think the first preference would be a 2d lefty out of the pen

Tyler (New Haven, CT)

Do you think PIneda will be able to handle the bright lights of the Bronx?

Wallace Matthews
  (3:15 PM)

I would say yes until proven otherwise. There's pressure in every MLB park and on every MLB roster, and if he couldn;t handle that, he woldn;t have gotten this far. yes, I know about the Ed Whitsons and Javier Vazquez' of the world, but in the overall scheme of things, I think those guys are the exception, not the rule

David (New Jersey)

Is MLB going to roll out the new playoff system in 2012?

Wallace Matthews
  (3:16 PM)

As yet undetermined but I hope so. Would add a little spice to the final weeks.

David (New Jersey)

What is the likelihood of Manny B making the big team in 2012?

Wallace Matthews
  (3:17 PM)

out of spring training, none. Later on, possibly, depending on how well he performs in Triple A and how badly the Yankees need him, if at all

Ryan Glick (new york)

Who do you think the yankees will trade for at the deadline

Wallace Matthews
  (3:17 PM)

couldn;t say because I don;t know what their needs will be at that point of the season, nor who will be available

David (New Jersey)

has Pettite officially retired?

Wallace Matthews
  (3:18 PM)

haven;t seen him around much so i'm assuming so

Bryan (Springdale, AR)

Do the Yankee players take it personal that they know they make so much more money than other teams, yet they can't win the World Series consistently the past 10 years?

Wallace Matthews
  (3:18 PM)

haven;t asked them but I doubt it

Domes (Breezewood)

Will Teixeira improve his average this year? Or did we see what to expect last year from him?

Wallace Matthews
  (3:20 PM)

I think he will try to bump it up a bit, but he was really brought here to provide power and create runs, both of which he did reasonably well last season. the real question is, will he learn to not beat his head against the wall hitting into the shift?

Eddie Mush (Bronx)

Who do you see holding down the 5th spot in the rotation at the end of the year?

Wallace Matthews
  (3:20 PM)

Don;t know how it will play out but I think the early edge goes to Freddy just because Hughes has already proven he can pitch out of the bullpen and it is widely assumed Freddy cannot

jeremy (israel)

is the rumor that the yanks are talking a contract extension with martin a sign they do not think romine can be a full time catcher?

Wallace Matthews
  (3:22 PM)

No, just that Martin is an above-average defensive catcher with a good, but not great bat, and Romine might still be a year or two away, esp at the plate. They like Romine as a catcher

Adam (DC)

Unless Garcia is seriously outpitching Hughes, you have to give the 5th starter spot to Hughes right? From a long-term perspective it makes it so much more valuable to develop Hughes as a starter rather than mess with him in the bullpen (again).

Wallace Matthews
  (3:23 PM)

Well, Bartolo seriously outpitched Freddy last spring and Freddy got the job, so don;t go by strict logic. I'm working on a column right now that explores this very issue.

Bobby (NJ)

Isn't a 1 game play-off a crazy way to get knocked out after enduring a 162 game season?

Wallace Matthews
  (3:24 PM)

it certainly will be for the team that gets bumped off. Seriously, it';s not perfect but it's better than having the WC team get an easier first-round matchup than the division winner, as happened two years ago with yanks-twins, Rays-Rangers

jeremy (israel)

what's your prediction for the knicks game tonight?

Wallace Matthews
  (3:24 PM)

Mass Linsanity

Eddie Mush (Bronx)

Any concern over Kuroda's transition to the AL East?

Wallace Matthews
  (3:25 PM)

Nah, the Yankees see him as a pro who can handle the transition easily, esp. since they consider the biggest transition being the one from the JBL to MLB, and he handled that one fine.

Matt (Fair Lawn, NJ)

Do you see a repeat in David Robertson this year, or was last year just a simple fluke?

Wallace Matthews
  (3:26 PM)

Robertson was too good last year to be considered a fluke, but by his own admission, he needs to cut down on walks. Sooner or later, even Houdini finds the box he can't get out of

Michael (Ohio)

Where do you see Granderson batting in the line-up? I know he did really well in the two spot last year, but shouldnt he be in the middle somewhere given his power abilities?

Wallace Matthews
  (3:27 PM)

I agree, and asked Girardi that very question 2 days ago, but as of now, the plan is to hit him second again this season

Larry (Dallas)

Seems clear to me that by adding Kuroda AND Pineda the Yankees have very little if any faith left in Phil Hughes. Your thoughts???

Wallace Matthews
  (3:28 PM)

I would put it another way -- Hughes really needs to prove he still belongs in this rotation. If he loses the No. 5 spot to Garcia, the Yankees are going to have to make a tough call about him

nyyankeefanforever (NY and Florida)

Do you think Kuroda's past history throwing to Russell was a factor in his decision to head East?

Wallace Matthews
  (3:29 PM)

Possibly. Supposedly Kuroda took less money to come to the Yankees, a team he didn't want to come to last year, and pitchers seem to love throwing to Martin. Even AJ liked him

nyyankeefanforever (NY and Florida)

Can you please change the name of the "Hangin' With" blog posts to "Hit and Run"?? Those posts are awfully short. :-)

Wallace Matthews
  (3:30 PM)

I'll take it up with Marchand. Those are his baby

Matt (Fair Lawn, NJ)

Do you see A-Rod returning to his old self, or is this his soon to be end of his career?

Wallace Matthews
  (3:31 PM)

I don;t think he'll ever return to the A-Rod of 2007 --he is after all, 37 this year -- and with his history of injuries and PED abuse, the best you might be able to hope for is 125 games a season out of him. So 30-35 HRs, 90-100 RBI is probably about the ceiling for him now

Adam Rubin (Port St. Lucie)

Wanna switch? I'll throw in Charlie Samuels' autographed subpoena.

Wallace Matthews
  (3:32 PM)

Add a Jay Horwitz autographed Mets hat, actual size, and we got a deal

Wallace Matthews
  (3:32 PM)

Thanks, guys, gotta run. Check out the blog and the Hughes column later. we'll do it again next week