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April 25, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Wally Matthews

Wallace Matthews
  (12:54 PM)

Good afternoon everyone. Todays chat comes to you from sunny Arlington Texas, where there is really nothing to do but go to baseball games. and live chat about them, which we will do in approximately five minutes. Be right back at ya

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Do you think that the Yankees will Release P Freddy Garcia since he has stinking up his 3 starts?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:00 PM)

Hey, Chris. Not immediately, but when andy pettitte gets back, presumably effective again at the major league level, I would think Freddy is the first candidate to be moved somewhere. Might be tradeable, too

Jordan (CT)

Good afternoon, can you tell us what is up with Manny Banuelos. Seems to be having extreme control issues.

Wallace Matthews
  (1:03 PM)

ManBoy had control issues last year in AA and so far they have carried over. Had six walks in two innings a couple of weeks ago and was put on the DL with a sore back. Obv he's still very young but suffice it to say he hasn;t developed quite the way the yankees had hoped, and as yu may have seen last week, our ranking expert, Keith Law, leapfrogged Mason Williams over Banuelos as the No. 1 prospect in the Yankees farm system

Frank (New Orleans)

How long will the Yankees organization wait until they take steps to rectify Russell Martin batting issues?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:06 PM)

I don;t think the Yankees think this is as important as you and some other fans seem to. The club, and esp Girardi, value defense and the ability to handle pitching staff in a catcher more than offensive ability. Plus, Yankees fans were spoiled for 15 years by having Jorge Posada, a great offenswive catcher who is a luxury to most teams, behind the plate. The Yankees offense has plenty of weapons w/o Martin hitting like Posada or Yogi Berra and right now, I don;t think it's a concern. But I will raise the question with Girardi tonight

Frank (New Orleans)

Whats the word on Austin Romine regarding his rehabilitation from his back injury?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:07 PM)

he's still shut down and the last time we discussed it with Girardi, the word "disk" came up in the conversation, which is never good and often leads to surgery. admittedly, I haven;t checked in on Romine recently but I will add it to my to-do list

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Do you think that Yankees P Michael Pineada will be Out for the Season?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:08 PM)

Don't know yet. I will have to passon any and all questions about Pineda, unfortunately, until we speak with Girardi about 6 pm NY time today. If anything is announced sooner, i'll let you know on the website

Jason (Henderson, NV)

Yankees fans are excited to get Pettite back in pinstripes. After more than a year off and his age, what can we realistically expect from him?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:10 PM)

Great question. From what I saw in spring training, he looked very much like the same pitcher he had been in 2010; not overpowering but sharp, always around the plate, good command of all his pitches. I'm reasonably sure he can still get big league hitters out on a regular basis. The key issue is can he stay healthy? Remember, he was haviung a great season in 2010, was in excellent shape, and two years younger than he is now, and stil got hurt and wound up missing two months. So we'll see

Amanda (NY)

Did the Yankees make any bid this past offseason for Yu Darvish?? He looked sharp last night...but no worries, we signed Freddy, we are all set.

Wallace Matthews
  (1:12 PM)

They did not make a bid on Darvish. I documented Cashman;s reasons in my column which is up on the website now. He was quite candid all winter about his reluctance to sign another Japanese pitcher, esp an unknown quantity like Darvish, to a big deal after the Kei Igawa mess. Tough to disagree with the reasoning even if the results turn out wrong. and you;re right, Freddy will take care of everything. Just you wait and see

Kevin (Tampa Bay)

What are your thoughts on the Rays as a viable challenger to the Yankees for the AL East throne? While it is early in the season, do the Yankee players/management ever look to see how the Rays are doing on the field and the moves they are making in the office?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:13 PM)

I think we saw how serious a contender the Rays are in the first series of the year in Tampa, and you can bet your house the Yankees keep a close eye on everything the Rays do

Person with a corner office (Washington, DC)

First, my condolences on your father's passing. Is it possible that the Yankees have discovered the nexus from Rivera in Robertson and laying claim to having the best 9th inning man for over 30 years? (yes, speculation on my part). Seeing Robertson in a game instills enormous confidence that the opponent will not score.

Wallace Matthews
  (1:14 PM)

Thank you very much for the kind words. And I agree with you on Robertson. He was the best pitcher in their bullpen last season, Mo included, and he seems to have the right make-up for the job. But I'm not sure I'm ready to proclaim him the closer for the next 15 years just yet

Mike (Mount Kisco, NY)

Wally, Pineda's velocity disappeared during the second half of last year. Was it too much of a gamble to assume that it was workload- related rather than an injury?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:17 PM)

That's the kind of question we will be asking of Cashman over the next few days if it turns out Pineda is done for the year. But you must understand that the decisions a GM and his staff make are calculated risks. They look at performance and try to deduce why it was so good, or so bad. In Pineda's case, they may have best-case scenarioed things a little too much, but since the Yankees do as rigorous a job of medically screening free agent and trade candidates as any team in baseball, you have to figure Pineda passed their physical. In that case, the workload theory seemed to make sense at the time.

Alex (Anaheim)

How long is Pineda going to be shut down?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:18 PM)

Don;t know for sure; Girardi will tell us when he meets the beat writers at about 6 pm. but from what he said yesterday, it will be at least another month,m and probably longer, since shutting him down for 3-1/2 weeks did not solve the problem

shane (stamford)

what is the report on Pineda??

Wallace Matthews
  (1:18 PM)

See below. Thanks

Dustin (Jenison, MI)

A-Rod seems like he has a positive attitude this year, but doesn't he ALWAYS have a new outlook on the season, baseball, his teammates, his role with the team ect? It seems like every year we hear how hard he worked in the offseason and how great he looks in spring training and then we watch as he battles injuries and struggles to even get on the field. Two questions: 1) when do they move him from 3b to a full-time DH? 2) Can he even get to 700 hrs at this point?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:21 PM)

Yes, but just about every player I've ever covered comes into spring training and a new season with new body, new outlook, new training routine, new focus, new underwear, blah, blah, bla, so let's don;t single out Alex for that. As you've seen, Girardi is giving him about one DH day a week but I think until the Yankees find a reliable 3B -- no, E NunEEE isn;t it -- i believe they prefer A-Rod at 3d. As for 700 HRs, he only needs 68 more and has five more seasons left on his deal. Unless he completely breaks down, I don;t see how he doesn;t get there

dearing2011 (Upstate)

If you had to guess now, which starter is the first to go when Petitte is ready?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:22 PM)

guessing now, it's got to be Freddy. But I haven;t seen Hughes yet tonight. still, I think the Yankees have a lot more invested in Phil's success than Freddy's

Steven (Bronx)

Darvish will be figured out the second time around with proper scouting reports, no doubt about that

Wallace Matthews
  (1:22 PM)

OK

Chris (Holmdel)

What is the vibe you're getting on Pineda and do you think we're looking at something catastrophic like shoulder surgery?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:24 PM)

it's very tough to read, but there is something odd about an agent asking for a 2d opinion before he';s even had the first. Could be Pineda has told Fern Cuza more than he's told the Yankees. In any event, we should have a fuller picture of what;s up with Pineda later this afternoon at girardi's pre-game

Bill (Florida)

Jones/Ibanez not yet working out...think the Yanks will trade for someone else?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:24 PM)

maybe at the deadline but right now, the Yankees have enough regulars who can rotate in and out of the DH role. And I think Ibanez has hit the ball pretty well so far without a lot of results

Anthony (Orlando, FL)

Hi Wally,It seems as if Huhges and Garcia are always getting a pass from Girardi when it comes to their spot in the rotation, most noteably Garcia, regardless of how bad they've both pitched. But Nova, close to breaking the all time Yankee win streak as a 2nd year player, never gets that vote of confidence, instead always being threatened to be sent to AAA. What gives here? The kid has more than earned his spot...

Wallace Matthews
  (1:27 PM)

agreed. For some reason, the Yankees have never seemed to be all in on Nova. And I don;t know why. Last year, I thought it was because they figured his easy-going personality would respond better to the undeserved demotion than any of the others. Obv, Girardi wasn;t going anywhere near pulling AJ out of the rotation. Thankfully for Nova, he's pitching too well this season for us to hear anything like that so far

A.J. (Dallas)

There are plenty of things to do in Arlington. You are a half hour from the 4th-5th biggest city in the U.S. On the Yankees front, how many more auditon starts for Hughes and Garcia until Pettitte is ready?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:29 PM)

Oh, all right. Sorry. Went to Dealey Plaza yesterday. As for Pettitte, I think a lot depends on how well he comes out of tonight;s outing. If OK, could be as few as two. If not, could be four. Either way, expect to see him with the team within 3 weeks

Jason (Bmore)

If Freddy is a candidate to be traded or released once Petitte is back, does it pretty much guarantee Hughes will stay in the rotation?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:29 PM)

i would say so, but he has to perform better than he has so far

Robert (NY)

Any second-guessing those thoughts about Colon or "the walk-off pie Guy" (Burnett) versus Garcia?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:30 PM)

Seriously? Colon was awful in the second half of the year and did not get a playoff start. And AJ? I'll bet you weren;t saying anything like this last year

Mike (Long Island)

Which Yankees' front-office executive is considered most important to/influential with Hal and Hank? Trost, Levine or someone else?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:30 PM)

Gotta be Levine. He is after all, the President of the NY Yankees

Andrew (New York, NY)

I know the Yankees typically don't discuss contract negotiations until after the season but with Cano and Granderson's contracts expiring soon, what are your thoughts on chance the Yankees retain Nick Swisher?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:31 PM)

he's having a great season so far so I would say the chances are good. of course, there will be an October . . .

Wallace Matthews
  (1:32 PM)

Sorry, guys, time's up. Lots of great questions and I apologize for not getting to more of them. We'll do it again next week. Thanks