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 ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
Send your questions now and join Matthews Thursday at 12:30 p.m. ET!
Wallace Matthews (12:27 PM)
Good afternoon from rainy Detroit, where despite the manager's optimisim, I don't think we're getting started on time today. With the game that is. The chat will start as scheduled in about two minutes
Does Nova only have one more start in the majors if he doesnt do well?
Wallace Matthews (12:31 PM)
I seriously doubt that. The yankees have a lot of faith in Nova and their plan to reduce payroll by about 20M depends a lot upon the success of affordable starters like Nova. I think they'll give him plenty of time to work out his problems. As for the playoffs, that's another story but I think they can afford to send him out every five days for the rest of the season
where is Nunez, are the yankees ever gonna bring him up, I thought he showed some promise last year as the shortstop of the future?
Wallace Matthews (12:35 PM)
Nunie missed a ton of time with a thumb injury just four games after he went to AAA and only recently returned to action. Right now he's hitting .242 with 4 errors in 17 games. We may see him in September.
Ryan (New York)
Please tell me the yankees are not gonna bring back swisher for alot of money?
Wallace Matthews (12:36 PM)
OK, I'll tell you that if it will make you feel better. Seriously, I don;t think the Yankees will give Swisher a long-term deal for the kind of money he's going to want, upwards of $10M a year, but you never know. I didn;t think they would renegotiate with A-Rod, either
Chris (New York)
Why cant curtis hit this year
Wallace Matthews (12:38 PM)
I wouldn;t say he can;t hit, but if there is one thing that jumps ut at me, it is that his numbers against lefties have slipped back to where they were previous to last year, when he hit i believe .270 against them. This year, he's down to .237, which was about his career avg vs LHP was when the Yankees got him this year. But he's got 30 HRs and 66 RBI, and he's always struck out a lot, so other than his struggles against lefties I think he's pretty much the same hitter
Alex. (LA) [via mobile]
Do you think the yankees will have another 10 game lead in the standing when September begins?
Wallace Matthews (12:43 PM)
Highly unlikely. The 20 games between now and then are against Toronto, Boston, Texas, the Chicago White Sox and Cleveland, and half of them are on the road. Can't see them adding 5-1/2 games in that time span with that schedule
Wallace Matthews (12:43 PM)
Incidentally, the game will start at 1;15 pm
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What is the Best Trade that the Yankees made in this decade or Century(2000-2012)?
Wallace Matthews (12:44 PM)
without doing any deep digging, I would say Granderson
Wally, are Yankees pitchers allergic to shut-down innings? Why does it seem like everytime, the bats get a run or two, the arms give it right back in the next half-frame?
Wallace Matthews (12:45 PM)
that is one of the factors Girardi cited last night as the reason for the current slump, and if they knew how to fix it, they would.
With Cabrera and Fielder being so large and slower than most corner infielders I'm surprised Joe and his binder haven't tried to exploit them in this series. They certainly run on Dirk's arm every chance they get. Your thoughts?
Wallace Matthews (12:46 PM)
you mean by bunting on them? It's a thought, although other than Jeter there aren;t too many Yankees for whom the bunt is a big part of their arsenal. (I know, Ichiro, but Girardi claimed the other day that he hasn;t bunted much in his career and I'll take his word for it.) One thing I've notcied about Fielder in this series is that he's a lot faster and more athletic than he looks
Wally thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Give us your take on Rob Thomson. From the games I've on TV, at the Fruit Dome, and at the Stadium he seems very tentative at times waiving runners around third. Once the games start next to changing P, the 3B coach has the game in his arms. If it's the playoffs, I don't want Rob in the 3B coaches' box. Cash must like the guy. Does Girardi share the sentiment or his RT acceptable given the alternatives Joe G is allowed? RT may be great guy off the diamond, but it seems in the 3B coaches' box the Yankees could/should do better. No?
Wallace Matthews (12:48 PM)
Hey, Fred. Thank you for joining us. But I must ask you: Rob Thomson? Really? I think the Yankees have more important flaws to repair for the playoffs than the third base coach. Girardi seems to trust Thomson's judgment and really, I can only think of a handful of times, or maybe even one, when I thought he had made a mistake and in that case, it was sending a guy, not stopping him
Natalia A. (NY)
Kuroda has pitched very well for the Yankees this year do you see him coming back on perhaps a one year deal? Joe has said they see Phelps as a starter next year so the Yankees could have CC, Kuroda, Hughes, Nova, Phelps and then Pineda when he comes back
Wallace Matthews (12:50 PM)
If he does come back, it will be on a one-year deal because IIRC, that is the only deal he ever worked on as a Dodger. He believes it gives him more incentive to perform well. Can you imagine if every player operated under that code? And to answer your question, he certainly has pitched well enough that the Yankees would be foolish not to seek to bring him back on another one year deal next season
In your personal opinion, do you value a catcher more for his hitting or his ability to call a game and have good defense? (I see a lot of people saying Martin is bad at hitting, but I feel like most fans are spoiled in an ear of Posada's, Mauers, and Variteks.)
Wallace Matthews (12:52 PM)
Travis, i agree that the offensive production of Posada had spoiled a lot of Yankee fans, or misled some of the younger or less-informed others to believe that a team is supposed to get big production out of the catching position. They don;t understand guys like Posada, Mauer, Yogi Berra, Piazza, were anomalies and that most catchers are like Martin or Stewart or Joe Girardi, who would not have had a career if the catcher needed to be a good hitter. IMO, defense and pitcher handling are the most imprtant attributes a catcher can have, which is why the Yankees gave up on Montero. Any offensive production you get out of the C is gravy
Man on a Ledge (literally) (Washington, DC)
Since CC Sabathia is the "ace" of the staff, why does Giraldi still revert to his "binder" when it comes to matchups when CC is on the mound...i.e. not allowing him to finish the 7th inning? Also, chances that Yankees don't resign Granderson and elect to go after Ellsbury who is a free agent at the same time (they aim to get the same type of deal)?
Wallace Matthews (12:55 PM)
Girardi decision to pull CC last night was a strange one. Even CC admitted to being puzzled and "upset" - his word -- when the mgr yanked him after 94, and Girardi';s explanation was completely unsatisactory ("I just felt it was time to go to Robbie") He got away with it but had the Yankees lost, it would have been a major topic of discussion today. As for next year, you raise an intriuguing possibility because the all-or-nothing year Granderson is having makes it less than a slam dunk the Yankees will look to lock him up for the long haul
Cesar (Rio de Janiero)
Do you see the current lineup (Swisher in the 2 hole and Granderson in the 6th or 7th hole) as a permanent fix when Arod comes back? Also, Cashman deserves Kudos for his "under the radar" moves....i.e. Stewart trade, Chavez and Jones signings, and Rapada & Eppley pickups...agree?
Wallace Matthews (12:56 PM)
Agree completely on Cashman's "minor moves," which have come up big more than once this season. Ibanez esp was a good pickup, I think. As for the lineup, I think having A-Rod back reshuffles the deck and I think we'll see Granderson moving back to the 2 hole, altho I would bat him in the middle of the order
I can't grasp why Grandy was batting lead-off over the past week. Does it make sense to have your team's HR leader batting lead-off? And...Grandy strikes out at least once a game. I'd wish they would put Ichiro up there 1st - why have the resisted that so much?
Wallace Matthews (12:57 PM)
About as much sense as it does to have him bat second. As I;ve written, ichiro is not at the top of the order because his OBP -- .288 -- is abysmal
Do you agree with Marchand that the Yankees should retain Russell Martin at catcher? With Baby Boss doing his best to cut spending, couldn't the Yankees benefit more but letting Martin walk and hold on to bigger players/contracts (Cano, Swisher, Granderson)?
Wallace Matthews (12:58 PM)
I always agree with Marchand. I would take Russell back on a reduced rate -- I think he was seeking 3 yrs at 7M per before the season -- and only for maybe two years with a club option. of course, my thinnking on that could change depending on who becomes available as his replacement
Hi Wally. I'm a Tigers fan, but I always enjoy when the Yankees are in town. That's all I got.
Wallace Matthews (12:59 PM)
You've had plenty of reason to be happy this week. that's all I got
Matthew (New York City)
First, do you think that the Yankees will hold on for the next two months and make the playoffs? And second, if they get there, who would be their #3 starter. It's obvious that Sabathia and Kuroda would be 1 and 2, but if they make the playoffs who would be 3? Pettitte, Hughes, Nova if he rebounds? What do you think?
Wallace Matthews (12:59 PM)
Yes, and the rotation will be CC, Kuroda, Pettite and Hughes
kendall (manhattan beach)
in your noble opinion, who is the best reliever currently not on the DL on the yankees
Wallace Matthews (12:59 PM)
Kendall (manhattan beach )
will teixeira underperform this year?
Wallace Matthews (1:00 PM)
If you mean will he come up short of 35-120, probably.
Yankee Flyer (NH)
Was the short lived Granderson leadoff experiment a desire to get more speed at the top of the lineup? And if so, why hasn't Grandy gotten the green light to steal more often this year? His speed has been underutilized and was a weapon last year.
Wallace Matthews (1:01 PM)
yes, and to avoid Girardi's biggest fear, "stacking his lefties" in the middle of the order. i think he is greenlighted. He hasn;t really gotten on base enuf to steal very much
Wallace Matthews (1:02 PM)
Surprise, surprise, Tigers just announced game will not start at 1:15. Field is uncovered but grounds crew is at the ready. No new start timje announced. Thank everyone for joing the chat and we'll do it again next week