View From the Other Side: Questions for Travis G of Pinstripe Alley

I sent some questions to Travis G from Pinstripe Alley, SB's Yankee's site and he was kind enough to answer, but then I did the same for him

How does Russell Martin look? I saw him in spring training he didn't look good behind the plate but he is hitting great. How is his defense?

You're right about his hitting. That has saved a lot of criticism he might normally be taking because of his defense. Let's put it this way: He's been better than Jorge Posada and Frankie Cervelli were last year, but he still looks like a below average catcher. I think we're bound to see a reversal, in that his defense will improve but his hitting will regress.

What is the starting rotation with Hughes on the DL? Do you have confidence in the guys behind CC?

After CC it goes: Burnett, Colon, Nova, Garcia. And no, not really. As I'm sure you know, Burnett is a roll of the dice every time out, Nova can't seem to manage a lineup more than twice, and Colon and Garcia are retreads, capable of strong outings but also capable of being yanked in the third inning or getting hurt.

Derek Jeter is starting slow, is he still trying that ‘new swing' that they talked about in spring training? Will he get moved back in the batting order?

Jeter was very adamant that his "new swing" was very minor in nature, just a smaller step. Recently came word that he had abandoned the new mechanics and was back to his old ways. He has fewer XBHs than any other Yankee regular (even Brett Gardner). He'll still get his share of singles and walks, but he looks highly unlikely to slug over .400. I hope he's moved down in the order, but I don't think Joe Girardi has the cajones to do so.

How is Jorge Posada taking to the full time DH role? Will he catch at all this year?

Like many Yankees currently, he's not hitting for average or walking much, but when he is making contact, the ball's going a long way: .163/.280/.512 so far. I expect the BA/OBP to increase and maybe the SLG to slightly decrease. He looked uncomfortable in the dugout during the spring, but with each day he looks a little better.

It doesn't look like he'll catch at all this season. He didn't catch one inning in Spring Training. Girardi truly seems concerned with his concussion history.

 I was watching a Yankee home game on TV and there seemed to be a lot of empty seats. If it just early season/cold weather or if something else going on?

It seems to be a combination. It's been very cold and rainy in the early going, keeping some fans away. (I was in favor of a retractable roof, mind you.) It's also the ticket prices, which are astronomical for the box seats (usually the most empty section) in the new stadium. Those are usually owned by "corporate" entities, who generally (I'm putting this mildly) don't have the most "die-hard" fans.

Are Yankee fans happy with the start of the season? I guess there must be a fair amount of glee at the Red Sox slow start?

Watching Boston start 0-6 was beautiful, especially after NESN compared them to the 1927 Yankees. Regardless, they'll still probably win 90+ games and make a run at the playoffs, but usually it's the other way round, with the Yankees starting off slow and the Red Sox coming out of the gate quickly (which has their fans declaring the division over in May).

Thanks Travis. 

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