I had the privilege of interviewing Mike Axisa from River Ave. Blue, A New York Yankees blog. River Ave. Blues is the Internet’s largest New York Yankees independent news source. They receive over 25,000 Yankee visitors per day.

Mike and I had a great discussion about the state of the Yankees and our thoughts on the season thus far. Check it out.

1. Many fans thought that Marcus Thames would be a late-inning pinch hitter. However, Thames has been getting multiple starts early in the season. Do you think this will be a trend moving forward?

M.A.: I do think, definitely against so-called tough lefthanders (Lester, Price, etc). Against the lesser guys like Gio Gonzalez and Joe Saunders, I can see Girardi starting Brett Gardner just to see how he handles it. Thames has made a few defensive plays worthy of a facepalm, but he’s actually hit pretty well.
2. So far, base runners have been successful in stolen base attempts against Jorge Posada. Is this something to worry about moving forward?
M.A.: Yes and no. If Posada wasn’t hitting and the pitchers were doing poorly, then yeah it would be a big problem. But Jorge’s hitting and the starters have been unbelievable so far, so it’s not much of a concern. Would it be nice if he threw out 30-40% of baserunners? Sure. But I’m not going to lose sleep over it when the Yankees have a 1.000+ OPS catcher and a staff full of strikeout pitchers.
3. In your opinion, what is this team’s biggest weakness?
M.A.: Probably outfield depth. The regular starters (Gardner, Granderson, Swisher) are fine, but it’s thin beyond that. Thames and especially Winn aren’t every day players, and the Yanks don’t have an obvious candidate to come up and fill in should an injury strike. It’s relatively easy to acquire a backup outfielder type in a trade at mid-season, so while it is an issue, it’s not a fatal flaw.
4. The Jesus Montero watch is on: Will we see him in the Bronx in 2010?
M.A.: I’ll say yes as a September callup, but nothing more than that. He’s only 20, and a full year at Triple-A is what’s best for him. Should Nick Johnson get hurt, then Juan Miranda is first in line to fill-in. I would be stunned if they called Montero up during the summer.
5. Derek Jeter’s Next Contract? Dollars and years:

M.A.: I’m thinking three years, $65M. No logical reason why, it’s just a guess. Whatever it ends up being, I just hope the years are reasonable. I’d rather see the Yankees pay Jeter $25M for one or two years than $15 for four or five.

A special thanks to Mike for this great interview.