Chat with Wally Matthews
Welcome to ESPNNewYork.com! On Wednesday, New York Yankees beat writer Wally Matthews will stop by to take your baseball questions.
Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He joins ESPNNewYork to cover the Yankees, which he's done since the days of Stump Merrill, having worked for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and 1050 ESPN Radio.
Send your questions now and join Matthews Wednesday at noon ET!
Wallace Matthews (12:00 PM)
Good afternoon, everyone. Don;t know what to say about last night so I'll start by listening to you. Fire away
Alot of people are saying Mariano is fading away, but I dont think so. What is your thought on it?
Wallace Matthews (12:02 PM)
Hey, Cody. Obviously, it will happen sooner or later but we're only hearing that because of his last two outings. Before that, remember, he had saved seven of the first nine wins and hadn;t allowed a run. so I'll need to see a lot more evidence, like a solid month of failure, before I begin to think maybe the decline is setting in
alex(new rochelle new york) [via mobile]
I feel like girardi goes by the book way too much. Robertson was pitching well and has been great all season and throughout his young career. Soriano has one good major league season and can't hold any games for mariano. How long do you think girardi sticks with this guy?
Wallace Matthews (12:04 PM)
Girardi said last night he had no intention of moving sori out of the 8th inning, but as we know, anything around the yankees can change and often does. Girardi does go by the book --or the looseleaf-- an awful lot but the Sori-Mo 8th/9th inning tandem seems to make sense when it works as planned. It could be that Girardi will go back to playing matchups with his bullpen in the seventh and eighth innings, which may not work better, but will certainly make the games longer
I'm not sane enough to discuss the pitching situation at the moment so: Are there any plans in place to shake up the lineup? It's getting painful to watch Jorge and Swisher while Gardner seems to seek out 2 strike counts.
Wallace Matthews (12:08 PM)
No plans to do that that Girardi has said publicly, but I wouldn;t be surprised to see Chavez get more DH time if Jorge continues to struggle. Gardner is another matter, because this offense was built to depend heavily on his ability to get on base at the top of the lineup, which he has so far been unable to do. He is extremely patient at the plate, sometimes too much so, and has acknowledged the possibility of swinign earlier in the count. As for swisher, he looked awful last night and I for one am surprised at his poor start because he is in a contract year and I expected him to come out blazing. As I wrote today, for all its impressive power numbers, this offense renmains a mystery. And no matter what the numbers say, to my eye it often seems like they have trouble getting men on base
Person who is sorry for Soriano (DC)
As a "glass is half full" fan, what do you think the chances that Soriano is traded at the deadline if Robertson and Chamberlain continue to be effective? And, do you think Swisher is pressing since this is his walk year and Andre Ethier's locker is being polished?
Wallace Matthews (12:10 PM)
Hello, Person. I think it would be very hard to move Soriano not only because of his performance so far but because of his contract. They gave him elite closer money to do a setup man;s job, plus two trapdoors, a ridiculous deal which Brian Cashman to his credit publicly disavowed. I think their best hope is that Sori gets his act together and then opts out at the end of the season. Swisher pressing is an issue I intend to raise with him in the coming days. he certainly doesn;t look like the same hitter so far this season
Matt (Stony Brook)
Hey Wally. Coming out of camp, I heard a lot of buzz around the 'strength of the bullpen'. Frankly, I don't see it. I know it has been a little rocky as of late, but I was saying this weeks ago. Do you see the coaches sticking with what they got, a change of roles, or a move being made later in the season to add an arm?
Wallace Matthews (12:12 PM)
Hey, Matt. I must admit I did think the bullpen was strong coming out of camp and I think it still can be, but I think we will see a lot more mixing and matching and shifting of roles depending upon performance, which is how it should be. I assume only Mariano's role is set in stone, everyoe else is going to have to earn his spot. I'm not sure they'll bemaking a move for relief help because the needs in the starting rotation are much more pressing, but then, i didn't see Kerry Wood coming last year
Do you get as nervous as I do when Soriano enters the game? I know he was great last year but he has been somewhat shaky so far. I still support the signing but he isn't real reassuring right now.
Wallace Matthews (12:14 PM)
Hey, Darrin. Not nervous, but definitely intrigued. He has become theater every time out there and while I don;t expect he will be available tonight, I look forward to his next appearance because the ability or inability of players to perform under increasing pressure is for me what makes sports so dramatic and compelling
Jorge Posada (Bronx)
Good afternoon Wally. I was talking with my wife yesterday, and she asked me if I had a year with .260 AVG-30 HRS-104 RBI, would the Yanks offer me a 1-2 year deal to come back as the full-time DH? I didn't know what to tell her. What is your opinion?
Wallace Matthews (12:14 PM)
Jorge, tell Srta. Posada that if you put up numbers like that they will make you Captain
BrandonL (Akron OH)
Good Day Wally, I was wondering what do you think the Yankees will do with Kevin Millwood & Carlos Silva? Thank you
Wallace Matthews (12:17 PM)
Hi Brandon. I'm not sure what they will do with either of them. Don;t be fooled by the numbers on Millwood; i'm told he has yet to break 90 -- he's in the mid-80s -- down in AAA and he's not going to get over with that stuff in the big leagues. As far as I know, Silva hasn't thrown a pitch in a game yet.
If Soriano continues to struggle, do you think the Yankees will be in the market for bullpen help rather than starting pitching at the trade deadline? No one would have thought that in March, but that's the way it's shaping up.
Wallace Matthews (12:19 PM)
I don't. They still have enough pieces with Joba and Robertson and Logan to mix-and-match their way through the seventh and eighth. That could change, of course, if one of them gets injured. But I think an SP is still going to be the main priority, as it should be
BrandonL (Akron OH)
Hey Wall-E how are things going? Great I hope!!! QuickQ what do you think the Yankees will do about Nick Swisher & Brett Gardner strggling? I nderstand that we are only 1/5 the way thru the season but should we look into some trade by mid-season?
Wallace Matthews (12:22 PM)
hey, Brandon. all good here, thanks. Swish might see some bench time in favor of Andruw Jones if this keeps up. As for Gardner, the offense as designed was dependent on his ability to get on base. he's a hard guy to replace and I'm not sure they even have a suitable replacement on the roster right now. I think they will stick with him awhile longer and hope he comes around
sean (storrs ct)
who do you feel is the most questionable starting pitcher through April?
Wallace Matthews (12:23 PM)
Hey, sean. I assume you mean other than Hughes? Then my guess is Garcia, because junkballers like him depend so much on location and qiuality of breaking stuff that the slightest deterioration means they get pounded. Of course, AJ is always prone ot an implosion and Bartolo is an injury waiting to happen. But still, my guess would be Freddy
Hey Wally,Any chance Joe flips Soriano and Joba?
Wallace Matthews (12:25 PM)
Has Joba been any better, really? At times yes, but at times he;s been worse. I';m think Joe will go with his first instinct, whcih is matchups, matchups, matchups. That means plenty of thumbing through the looseleaf
Hey Wally - I appreciate the responses on twitter during games-lots of fun. So was Cashman right about That Guy?
Wallace Matthews (12:27 PM)
Hey, man. Thanks. Cashman was right even before a pitch was thrown because you don;t pay a setup man anywhere near the money the Yankees are paying soriano. Yes, cash also had reservations about sori's character, but his main objection was that the deal simply didn;t make economic sense. If he wanted to spend even $5M for a set up guy, which he did not, he certainly could have lured Kerry Wood back for another season. The cubs offer still would have been there for him. even w/o seeing sor melt down, Cashman was 100 percent right
I know its early, but for how much crap the media gave Cashman for his offseason moves, I think he did an excellent job with his low risk/high reward acquistions (AKA, all of them). It's been wonderful having an actual catcher back there. Your thoughts?
Wallace Matthews (12:28 PM)
Agreed all the way. and let';s not forget the two deals he publicly opposed, soriano and giving $51 M to Jeter, appear to be justifying his objections. But no one is complaingin abouf Freddy, bartolo, Chavez or especially Martin right now, are they?
Wallace Matthews (12:30 PM)
Thanks guys, for all the great questions. Time is tight today so i can;t really do any overtime; have to tape another great edition of Bombers Beat with andrew marchand at the stadium. We'll do it again next week. Promise