Chat with Wallace Matthews
Welcome to ESPNNewYork.com! On Wednesday, New York Yankees beat writer Wallace 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 1 p.m. ET!
Wallace Matthews (12:55 PM)
welcome everyone to the weekly Yankees chat, Post-Season Edition, Part I. Beautiful day here in Minneapolis. Can see Target Field outside my hotel room window. Looks great. Plenty of issues to discuss. we'll get started at 1pm sharp
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Will the New York Yankees use A.J. Burnett as a Starter when the Yankees Advance to the American League Championship Series?
Wallace Matthews (1:00 PM)
Hey, Chris. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I think if and when the Yankees advance to the next round, they will go to a 4-man rotation and AJ will be that fourth man. I think Ivan Nova's stock has dropped sharply in the past month, which doesn't mean they think anything less of him as a talent, just that he's not quite ready yet. The only other real options are Moseley, Mitre or Gaudin and on all of their respective best days, you've got to pick AJ out of that crew.
Do you think that Javier Vazquez will be on the 25 man roster and work out of the bullpen at any point during this post season?
Wallace Matthews (1:02 PM)
He, David. I do not. I think Javy is so deep in Girardi's doghouse his nose is buried in a bowl of Alpo. The manager's usage of him over the last month shows you how much respect he has for him (read: none) and I don't think he would trust him in a playoff game or waste a precious roster spot on him. I think his being with the team now is just a show of courtesy to a veteran but I think you've seen him throw his last pitch as a Yankee
Have you heard anything new on the Mets GM front? Also what GM-Manager combo would work well together for the Mets you think?
Wallace Matthews (1:05 PM)
Hey, Ricky. I don't cover the Mets so I don;t hear much inside stuff on their vacancies but two names keep cropping up in conversation. Sandy Alderson and Billy Beane. Beane would be a great choice, IMHO, if they could get permission to try to pry him awat from Oakland. alderson is a good baseball man but to me, that choice would smack of hiring a re-tread or maybe even an older guy looking for one more big payday. But like I said, I have little inside knowledge of that situation
Jake (SLC, UT)
Why did Austin Kearns make the roster Wallace? I'd rather see an out of shape Shane Spencer make a comeback than this guy...
Wallace Matthews (1:07 PM)
Hey, jake. That one puzzles me, too. I don;t quite see what he brings to the party. He's a human strikeout machine since he's been here, he's not fast and he's nothign special defensively. The only thing I can think is he brings more sxperience than some of the other guys Girardi could have taken, such as Nunez
jen Parrish (tigard oregon)
What is your predictions for this series
Wallace Matthews (1:11 PM)
Hello, Jen my friend. I will try to handle as many of your questions as I can in this one answer. Prediction: Yankees in 5. Not convinced Twins have shaken off their October bugaboo in regards to Yankees. I think Phil Hughes is capable of pitching an excellent game at home on saturday, but I am concerned with all the time between starts. KWood has won the eighth inning job, hands down. He's the last pitcher you will see before Mariano. D-Rob and Joba are likely to split 7th inning duties. Jeter certainly has done better in September, made some adjustments as I outlined in my story that is still up on ESPNNY.com (shameless plug) and I expect him to play well in the post-season. And I think the saem guy who has been vital to the Yankees offense all season is key again tonight: Cano
Burlington, vt [via mobile]
With Justin morneau officially ruled out of the postseason, is the 1-2 punch of Mayer and thome enough power to get them past the yanks?
Wallace Matthews (1:12 PM)
Burlington, hello (I feel like Larry King). I don;t think power is the key to this series, esp. in the first two games at Target Field, where the Twins have hit the fewest home HRs in baseball. Pitching, pitching, pitching. and mistake-free baseball. Two areas the Yanks have had a lot of trouble with lately
Amanda (Sullivan County, NY)
will we see Nick Swisher back in the #2 spot in the lineup where he has done the most damage?
Wallace Matthews (1:13 PM)
Hi, Amanda. I believe we will see swisher batting second against lefties, Granderson batting second against righties. That means swish No. 2 vs. Liriano tonight, Grandy No. 2 vs. Pavano tomorrow
Why is Kearns here? In case Swisher/Gardner/Grandy go down in the middle of the game. Real rocket science right there. (Don't say Thames, we all know he has lead feet in the OF and if he's DHing you're not losing the DH to move him to hthe OF)
Wallace Matthews (1:16 PM)
OK. There's an answer. too bad he's the best option because he's none too good.
RE: "The manager's usage of him over the last month shows you how much respect he has for him (read: none)" - I think confidence is a better term to use, saying Girardi doesn't respect Javy is demeaning to Javy as a person, while not having confidence in his 87 mph fastball is understandable.
Wallace Matthews (1:19 PM)
Zack, you have all the makings of a great editor. But I thought leaving javy out there the night he had absolutely no command and hit three batters in a row was something he would not have done with a pitcher he valued more. It was almost like he was hanging him out to humiliate him. That's not something you do to a player you respect. and don;t get me wrong. I like Javy. I'm referring to the manager
Is there any scenario where you could see Girardi using Mo for more than an inning tonight?
Wallace Matthews (1:20 PM)
Hello Marcia. Maybe a four-out save, but I doubt longer than that, because obviously he might need him tomorrow night, too
jen Parrish (tigard oregon)
Do you see andy being stopper again this post seasoni think he will flip switch
Wallace Matthews (1:22 PM)
Hi, Jen. Not sure what to expect from Andy after his last three outings. I thought he was better saturday against Boston but still hasn;t stretched out to the 6th or 7th inning. I do expect him to be super-competitive, as always
Re: Best Option. That's why he's a 4th OF, how many playoff teams have good OFs sitting on the bench?
Wallace Matthews (1:25 PM)
OK. I'm glad you;re happy with Kearns. Maybe he'll even justify it this week
Wallace Matthews (1:28 PM)
That's all we have time for today. Enjoy tonight's game and by the time we do this again next week, we'll have a better idea of how the 2010 Yankees will be remembered. remember: I say Yanks in 5, Rays in 5, Rays over Yanks in 7 in ALCS