Chat with Wally Matthews
Welcome to ESPNNewYork.com! On Thursday, 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 Thursday at 1 p.m. ET!
Wallace Matthews (12:53 PM)
Good afternoon everyone. We'll get started in about 5 minutes
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Will Hiroki Kuroda & Michael Pineda Help the Yankees Rotation?
Wallace Matthews (1:02 PM)
Well, let's see. Before, the rotation consisted of CC, AJ, Hughes, Nova, Freddy and Bartolo. Now, instead of AJ and Bartolo, you;ve got a legitimate CYA candidate and a proven performer in the NL with an ERA consistently under 4.00 instead, plus you've still got CC and Nova and maybe Hughes and Freddy. Chris, you're a smart guy. You tell me
Is the backup catcher spot Cervelli's to lose or is Romine in the mix as well?
Wallace Matthews (1:04 PM)
I think Romine will be in the mix because as much as the Yankees love cervelli's hustle and enthusiasm, they are aware of his limitations at bat and behind the plate. Still, even with a ST-ending concussion last year, neither Romine nor Baby Jesus was able to knock him off. If you recall, Gustavo Molina was the backup catcher on Opening Day 2011, keeping the seat warm for Cervelli's return. So don;t count him out
Jo Jo B (NYC)
If A.J. Burnett isn't in the starting rotation, will he still be allowed to throw pies?
Wallace Matthews (1:04 PM)
He can throw them, but will he hit anything?
Manny Ramirez (Space)
Who do I call for a spring training invite? p.s. A-Rod did more than me.
Wallace Matthews (1:05 PM)
Call NASA. Maybe they can bring you back to earth
Wally,Are the Yankees serious about bringing in Matsui??If they are, then my idea to bring in Sheffield may not be that farfetched afterall no??Sheff is clearly th better player.
Wallace Matthews (1:06 PM)
Don;t know how serious they are about any of the ancient DH's floating around, that includes Matsui, Damon, Pena, Ibanez and Bye-Bye Balboni. But unlike Sheffield, at least all of those guys (with the exception, I believe of Balboni) played in the major leagues last year. So this is the last time we will have this discussion. Thank you
Changeup (Early in Tampa)
Can you arrange a meeting between myself and Mr. Hughes and Mr. Pineda? I think we could do great things together.
Wallace Matthews (1:07 PM)
Take it up with Larry Rothschild
Max (Rockwood, Tn.)
Do you think think the Luxury tax should be means tested to balance the payroll levels in the various cities. There is no way thatBoston, NY etc., can compete with KC, Minn. etc. Also Texas andFlorida are tax free. Many teams have been fed revenue as well.
Wallace Matthews (1:10 PM)
I'm not sure I exactly follow your question but disenchantment with paying the luxury tax and in essence, bankrolling small-market teams and worsre, filling some owners pockets, has irked the Yankees for a long time and is the driving force behind Hal S's demand that the payroll be lowered to $189 M in 2014, when it will be the LT threshhold. On the issue of state tax, it is sometimes a factor and causes teams like the Yankees to have to bid higher than teams in Texas and Fla to make up the difference, but because pro athletes are taxed in every state thay play in at the prevalining rate, at most it only applies half the time (81 home games) plus the handful of away games played in tax-free states
Floyd Mayweather (Vegas)
I heard you think I woulda lost to Sugar Ray Leonard. Lemme tell you something. Adam Rubin would knock you out.
Wallace Matthews (1:10 PM)
With the new pitchers on board should the Yankees consider trading Burnett for a bad contract? The person that comes to mind is Jason Bay because the money is the same. Does someone else like that come to mind who could be doing badly elsewhere and could improve as a Yankee (ala Swisher)?
Wallace Matthews (1:13 PM)
I'm sure that is on the table but as I wrote in a blog item today, moving Burnett will be about as easy as moving a grand piano up five flights of stairs. A bad contract is one thing, a bad player attached to a bad contract is another. Useless is useless even if it's free. That being said, AJ for Bay is intriguing because you have to think CitiField is in Bay's head and Yankee Stadium is certainly more hitter-friendly. However, as a RH bat, he wouldn;t benefit nearly as much as lefties do in YS, and his concussion history might make him a bad risk. still, it's an interesting thought
What is your Pineda season prediction? I say 14-9, 190 IP, 187 SO, 3.72 ERA, 1.23 WHIP.
Wallace Matthews (1:15 PM)
Tough to say. You have to figure any decent pitcher given the benefit of Yankee run support should win 14-16 games. Still, Pineda is a flyball pitcher and will find YS a lot lewss forgiving than Safeco, and there has to be some head-scratching over his sub-par second half, when ERA soared although Ks/BBs remained basically the same. I think he will do well as a Yankee but in the event he doesn;t, the reasons are out there.
Hey Wally, Do you think the Yanks will regret trading Montero. I know Pineda has a load of potential, but pitching in NY isn't easy...just ask Randy Johnson and Javier Vazquez. With Arod and Jeter getting up there in age, I just feel the Yanks might have been better suited keeping Montero who has 300 25hr potental from a catcher? What are your thoughts?
Wallace Matthews (1:18 PM)
It's possible but the philosophy is that it's always easier to find a bat than an arm. Both players have tremendous upsides. it just so happens that Pineda's upside fit the Yankees need and Montero's fit Seattle's. And despite their insistence on safeguarding the future, the Yankees live very much in the Land of Now. Right now, they don;t need Montero;s bat nearly as much as they need Pineda's arm. A few years from now, they might regret that, but it's somethign we won't know for awhile yet.
I just can't see the Yanks giving 400 DH at bats to Chato but his numbers project similar to Damon/Vlad etc. Are the Yanks better off w/ Chato at $500,000 at DH and basically thinking anything he gives you is gravy at this point?
Wallace Matthews (1:20 PM)
Luke, unless the financial situtation changes, or changes AGAIN, I should say, I think the Yankees are tempted to go that route. Vazquez is a born DH; he has raked -- and butchered -- at every level. He is certainly a low-cost alternative to the retreads currently on the market and personally, i would prefer to see him in Yankee Stadium this year, if for no other reason than it;s a new face rather than the same old/same old. and the guy can hit
damon,matsui or dh by comittee
Wallace Matthews (1:21 PM)
See previous answer. if I;m the GM, I go AJones, JVazquez and a committee of regulars who need one day of rest a week.
Jeremy Tiermini (Canandaigua, NY)
Any internal rumblings about how to handle the SP logjam?
Wallace Matthews (1:23 PM)
Possibly, by trading one of them for a DH-type. My guess is Phil Hughes is the easiest guy to move; my colleague andrew Marchand thinks it will be AJ Burnett. Freddy Garcia, signed as an FA, apparently cannot be traded before June. But I think it's possible one gets traded and another moves to the bullpen.
CC didn't seem to fare well with a five man rotation in the second half of last year. If we go with CC, Kuroda, Nova, AJ/Frreddy, Pineda, how do you think he will adjust to a five man rotation all year long?
Wallace Matthews (1:24 PM)
it was actually the 6-man rotation that CC did not like; he hates to deviate from the routine he has followed his whole career and the extra day of rest seemed to hurt him late in the season. I think if nothing else, he will benefit from having a couple of reliable pitchers in the SR with him rather than bearing almost all of the burden on himself
will the yankees be able to trade aj for a bat or more likely to sign damon or matsui
Wallace Matthews (1:26 PM)
As I've said several times, i think AJ is extremely difficult to move, mostly because of the contract but also because of his (lack of) performance. And from what I hear, the Yankees are not interested in any of the retread DHs unless they are wiling to work for $1-2 million this year
Rob (Brooklyn, NY)
If the Yankees add a DH, will they still try to add Eric Chavez? and visa versa?
Wallace Matthews (1:28 PM)
I think E Chavez could serve both roles, as a backup 3B and occasional LH DH. I haven;t heard much on the Chavez front lately so either their interest, which was high a couple of weeks ago, has cooled, or Cashman is about to make a deal, which he often does after a period of silence. of course, it is possible the $10M they dug up for Kuroda is the last real money they will spend this winter
jon (nyc, ny)
hi, this may be a stupid question, but everyone seems to take it for granted that the yanks' offense is a sure thing - i'm not so sure. i feel like there are a lot of question marks: can granderson repeat, can jeter maintain his second-half form all year, which a-rod will show up this year...don't get me wrong, i'm a die-hard fan, and maybe i'm being too skeptical. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Wallace Matthews (1:30 PM)
Not stupid at all. In fact, it looks like you;ve been reading over my shoulder. Next week we will begin a daily countdown to ST entitled "30 Days, 30 Questions," and the three you mentioned are certainly on the list. Hit the blog every day next week and we'll explore all of them
Who is first in line for saves if Rivera is given a day off, Robertson or Soriano?
Wallace Matthews (1:30 PM)
Too early to say but I would guess off 2011 performance it has to be D-Rob
Do the two Yankees moves indicate that they don't have confidence in Noesi (gone), Mitchell, Phelps and Warren? If not, could you package some of these guys for a young DH (Butler)?
Wallace Matthews (1:31 PM)
Not necessarily. But they certainly do give the Yankees a lot more flexibility if they need to make a trade for a bat around the trade deadline. If Kuroda and especially Pineda perform as expected, it might even make the two remaining Killer B's expendable
Cervelli had a concussion last spring? I thought it was a broken foot. Is this breaking news?
Wallace Matthews (1:32 PM)
My bad. I got my annual Cervelli injuries mixed up. You;re right
Wallace Matthews (1:33 PM)
Thanks, guys, for all the excellent questions. we'll do it again next week