Q & A with Peter Abraham

Peter Abraham of the Journal News was nice enough to answer a few questions for us....

Kevin Seefried: After Xavier Nady's injury, many writers and fans started claiming that the Yankees need to look outside the organization for some depth on the bench. The Yankees have Melky as a 4th outfielder, and hopefully by June, Matsui might be able to play a game in the outfield once in a while. We have Austin Jackson less than a year away, and Todd Linden,Shelley Duncan, and John Rodriguez as options at triple A. Should the Yanks look outside the organization even though we have all these internal options? It is a bench spot after all, we're not trying to find a new starting outfielder.

Peter Abraham: The Yankees very much need a bat and probably from outside the organization. Melky is a AAAA player. Matsui's knees are a mess now. He'll never be able to play the OF. It's certain half the time whether he can DH. Austin Jackson needs a full year in AAA. Todd Linden, Shelley Duncan and John Rodriguez are AAAA players, too. The Yankees had a terrific bench when they had either Swisher or Nady in reserve. Now their bench is Melky, Molina and Pena. That's not a remotely good enough bench.

KS: New Yankee Stadium is already gaining a reputation of being a hitter's paradise. I was under the impression that the dimensions are generally the same as at the old stadium; why the burst in homeruns?

PA: I'm hardly an expert on these sorts of things. But the open concourses seem to have created a wind tunnel toward the opening in right field. The fence also isn't as high as it used to be and the dimensions appear to be slightly shorter than they were across the street. There is also evidence across the game that home runs are up. I wouldn't put it past MLB to juice the balls to try and help their attendance issues.

KS: Chien Ming Wang is...well let's say he's not playing to his full potential. If we see another mediocre start or two from him what will the Yanks do? Can Wang be sent to the minors? Would Phil Hughes make a spot start?

PA: You can't just give up on him. Look at Mussina in 2007 and how he turned it around. There's a day off on Thursday, so I think the immediate answer is to skip him and give him some time to work out his issues.

KS: The Yankees brought up Anthony Claggett, who I would assume is supposed to be used for multiple inning relief outings. Is he the best candidate for that job? Or should it be given to one of Jason Johnson, Kei Igawa, Brett Tomko, or Alfredo Aceves?

PA: Claggett is already gone. I think they need Aceves as a long reliever.

KS: What is your favorite Nick Swisher moment? Like us, you've expressed your fandom of Swisher frequently. Can you give us a brief lowdown on what makes him such a lovable character?

PA: There is no one particular moment with Swish. He's just a very energetic guy who treats everybody the same way and tries to reach out to everybody, from the clubbies on up to the stars. In spring training one day, I asked him for an interview and he ended up asking me more questions about New York, the media, etc. He's just a good guy.

KS: Our bullpen hasn't been spectacular thus far this year, though it is early. Who do you see being the most effective pitchers in the 'pen this year, and when are we going to get to see everyone's favorite phenom Mark Melancon?

PA: Who do I see being the most effective pitcher in the bullpen this year? Take a guess. That would be Mariano. As for Melancon, I think he'll be here by June 1.

Thanks for your time Pete. Everyone be sure to check out Pete's blog here.

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