About Matt Bove

I have a Bachelor's degree in journalism from William Paterson University in New Jersey. Currently a high school sports writer for NJ.com, who has had a huge passion for the Yankees since birth. Contact or follow me on Twitter at @RAYROBERT9.

Current State of the Yankees Rotation

(NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) in action against the at Yankee Stadium on October 1, 2015 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Yankees defeated the Red Sox 4-1. The Yankees clinched a wildcard playoff position and won their 10,000th regular season game.


The awfulness of the New York Yankees offense down the stretch got most of the attention and blame for the downfall of the second half, but the starting pitching played a role as well and the Yankees are in an interesting spot this offseason when it comes to their rotation.

The Yankees finished 18th in starters ERA at 4.25, but eighth with a 3.75 xFIP. The biggest issue was a lack of innings, as the Yankees finished 21st in MLB in starters innings and it felt worse than that. CC Sabathia of all pitchers led the team with 167.1 innings. This really manifested itself down the stretch when the bullpen performance fell off due to too many innings.

The thing with the Yankees starting rotation is that it’s tantalizing with potential, almost like a tease. We’ve seen Masahiro Tanaka perform like an ace at times. We’ve seen flashes from Michael Pineda and Nathan Eovaldi that suggest they can be good second and third starters.…

Potential Wild Card Matchups

With six games remaining things are close to certain for the Yankees as to where they stand in the playoff picture. They can clinch their first postseason berth since 2012 with a win tonight and losses by the Twins and Angels. They’re going to be in a one game playoff with the only question being who will it be against.

It’s hard to say which team you want to play in a one game playoff because one game in baseball can be so random, which is why the idea of a one game playoff is silly. The Yankees scored 21 runs in one game against Texas and allowed 11 runs to the Philadelphia Phillies twice. Baseball should be about the 162 game grind. However, the one game playoff is good for drama and ratings, so it stays.

The Houston Astros are a 1/2 game ahead of the Los Angeles Angels and 1.5 games ahead of the Minnesota Twins. This is probably the best case scenario for the Yankees if it stays this close.…

Going Back to the Trade Deadline

“Yankees Twitter” was filled with its normal outrage and cynicism after the Toronto Blue Jays acquired Troy Tulowitzki and David Price among others at the trade deadline and the Yankees only acquired Dustin Ackley.

We can get a little better picture of what has happened since then. Obviously, this season it has worked out better for Toronto. They went on a huge run to pass the Yankees in the division and they haven’t really looked back since. David Price has been amazing for them, while Tulowitzki struggled and got hurt.

Even though the Blue Jays have clearly gotten the better of the Yankees this season we can see why Brian Cashman did what he did. Yes, if the Yankees had Price they would likely be winning the AL East this season. It still would not have guaranteed anything in the playoffs. However, if Price would have left as a free agent anything less than a championship would be a failure.…

Quick Hit: Yankees Testing Jorge Mateo at Second Base

This article from George King of the New York Post about the Yankees possibly giving top prospect Jorge Mateo second base reps during the Instructional League is pretty intriguing,

This makes all the sense in the world with Didi Gregorius looking more and more like the shortstop of the future. That’s probably a big reason why the Yankees were willing to include Mateo in a deadline deal for Padres closer Craig Kimbrel.

Second base has been such a hole since Robinson Cano left, and that decision is looking more regrettable by the day since they gave Jacoby Ellsbury $153 million and only offered Cano $175 million. Cano has been the Cano we knew and loved in the second half, and the Yankees would probably be a real World Series contender with him in the middle of the lineup. Any team that makes the playoffs has a shot, but the Yankees are probably behind Kansas City and Toronto right now. As long and large as Cano’s contract is, it’s still better than Ellsbury’s.…

Is Rico Noel Worth A Playoff Roster Spot?

It’s no secret how the New York Yankees score their runs. They’re second in the league in home runs, and that’s what they’re going to live and die on for the rest of the season. The narrative that they hit too many home runs is folly, but their overall team speed does hurt the Yankees, not their approaches at the plate.

You can argue that five Yankees — Alex Rodriguez, Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, Chase Headley and Greg Bird — should be pinch run for in a big spot. Obviously, you can’t pinch run for all of them, but that’s a huge problem when the Yankees are trying to come back in games in later innings. If they’re down one run and one of those guys are on base it will most likely take two hits to score.

According to Baseball Reference, the Yankees take an extra base (more than one base on a single or more than two bases on a double) on 34 percent of their chances, which is 28th in MLB and one percent more than last place.…

What’s Up With The Yankees Attendance?

The only thing worse than how the New York Yankees played in their series against the Baltimore Orioles this week was the number of people in the seats.

The Yankees announced just over 31,000 people on Monday, and just over 30,000 on Tuesday and Wednesday. Quite frankly, those numbers seemed generous as to the amount of people actually there.

Empty seats have been an issue for the Yankees in recent seasons, but this was a new low. They’re averaging 40,007 fans this season, which is good for fourth in MLB, but nowhere near where they were in the previous decade when Yankee Stadium was sold out even in meaningless games. So, why the especially low turnout even for current times for these critical games?

When I was watching the Yankees on Monday I happened to flip over to the Mets and Nationals game in Washington, and it was right before Wilson Ramos hit a grand slam to put the Nationals up 5-4 after being down 4-1 in a huge game for them.…

Stephen Drew Playing His Way Into 2016 Plans?

Courtesy: Anthony Gruppuso USA Today

I know mostly everyone reading already vomited after glancing at the title, but if Stephen Drew has a strong September, the possibility exists of him returning again in 2016 if he agrees to another 1-year contract.

Drew has been a huge target of hate from Yankees fans, but the reality is he has put together a quality second half of the season thus far and there are worse things in the world than a No. 9 hitter who hits 20 home runs and plays solid defense.

This is not just about Drew’s insanely hot recent stretch.  He has actually been a quality player since June 1st, hitting .251/.323/.483 with 12 home runs and a 120 wRC+ since thene. Over the last two weeks, Drew’s slash line is an incredible .351/.429/.568. If Drew has a good September that would be four consecutive months of good baseball from him, which after his first two months and 2014 season nobody would have ever thought possible.  …

Deja Vu in Atlanta?

Baseball is such a funny game with all its twists and turns, which is what makes the 162 game grind so exhausting on one hand, but so rewarding on the other hand if it ends up going your way.

The Yankees looked like an old, fragile and broken down baseball team heading into the deep south. It certainly seemed like things were just not headed in the right direction after losing five of seven games against Cleveland and Houston at home, which is a place they had been previously dominant all season long.

The Yankees were dominated by some great pitchers like Dallas Keuchel and Carlos Carrasco, but also could not hit against mediocre to poor ones like Josh Tomlin, Trevor Bauer and Scott Feldman. So even though the Braves are a bad baseball team, it wasn’t exactly reassuring. Jacoby Ellsbury and Mark Teixeira had injuries and Alex Rodriguez was being replaced in the lineup by a pitcher (the wisdom of NL baseball at its finest).…

Was This The End For CC Sabathia?

CC Sabathia future in doubt as Yankees fall out of 1st

Courtesy: Bill Kostroun, NY Post

I was in attendance for Andy Pettitte day yesterday at Yankee Stadium, and it was a huge day of mixed emotions. It certainly started off with a bang with the Pettitte ceremony. It was awesome, even if the crowd again gave a bigger applause to Derek Jeter just like they did on Saturday to Jorge Posada, which was annoying. To see your whole childhood out there on that field really makes you remember why you fell in love with this game and franchise. I even learned some things I didn’t know, like how Pettitte used to throw a knuckle ball. It was very cool stuff.

Then the game happened and it was a train wreck. Sure, a 4-3 game doesn’t seem so bad, yet it was the most excruciating Yankees game I’ve ever been to. There were 16 combined walks and the Yankees struck out 11 times. The umpiring seemed crazy inconsistent from what I could tell in my seats in right field.…