Mailbag is back in its normal Friday spot. Today, we look at David Wright’s future, the Knicks playoff chances, Jesus Montero’s hot start, and Phil Hughes’ crappy one.

Tulo Celebrating At Citi Field, Again.

Christian Asks:

The Mets are really, really bad. What are the odds that David Wright is dealt/asks for a trade this season?

It’s definitely an interesting question. Wright is in the fifth season of his 6-year, $55 million deal. Wright is owed $14.25 million this season, $15.25 million in 2012, and a $16 million club option in 2013. Financially, the Mets are a mess right now, but have roughly $50 million coming off the books after this season. Plus, the Mets are doing everything in their power to make Wright the face of their franchise. They just can’t afford to trade him.

Regardless if he asks for a trade or not, Wright will be a New York Met until at least 2013. The odds of Carlos Beltran and/or Jose Reyes (impending free agents) being dealt are much higher.

Bill Asks:

What are the odds that the Knicks knock the Celtics out in the first round of the playoffs?

Ten percent chance. There’s doubt in my mind that the Knicks may steal a game against the defending Eastern Conference Champions, but the Knicks have no answer for Rajon Rondo or Kevin Garnett. If you try to tell me that A’mare is going to play defense against Garnett, then you are out of your mind. I outlined earlier this week that the Celtics were a better matchup for the Knicks, given the hot play by Miami (no pun intended). The Celtics are definitely struggling right now, but it’s hard to bet against Doc Rivers and his group of seasoned vets against a streaky Knick team that shows little effort on the defensive end.

Kenny Asks:

Jesus Montero is absolutely tearing it up in Triple A. Any chance we see him in the Bronx sometime soon?

Kenny is right. In five games so far this season, Montero is absolutely tearing up Triple A pitching. He is hitting an absurd .480 (12 for 25) with a homer, three doubles, and six runs scored. Not to mention Montero has had four straight multi-hit games. However, the Yankees just do not have a spot for Montero. Mark Teixeira is locked into first base for the next six years. Russell Martin is off to a very hot start and Francisco Cervelli will be back in a few weeks. The Yankees do not want to expose Montero’s average glove, so they are choosing to let his value as a hitter keep climbing in Triple A. Scouts say that the glove won’t matter in five years because the bat is so good, but given their aging core, the Yankees can’t afford to lock up their DH slot with a full-time player. He’ll be moved when the right deal materializes and I think Yankee fans just need to accept that.

Nick Asks:

Phil Hughes looks terrible through three starts so far. His ERA is an unslightly 12.50 and his WHIP is even worse at 2.23. Do you there’s something wrong with him or is this just a blip on the radar?

Good question. Hughes’ fastball velocity was briefly touching 91 MPH last night which was an increase from the 88-89 MPH fastballs we were seeing in his first two starts.

Hughes Velocity vs. Baltimore

His curve ball looked a lot better last night, but he just couldn’t place his cutter. The cutter was coming in at 86-87 MPH and the Orioles were just tagging it. He has failed to make it into the fifth inning in any of his starts this season while he made through five innings routinely in 2010.

If we look at Hughes’ starts last season, he didn’t pitch his first game until April 15. In that start, Hughes only lasted five innings, allowing three runs, but the Yankees had the luxury of skipping him in the rotation. They do not have that luxury anymore and need Hughes to be the team’s third starter.

I’ve always been under the impression that most power pitchers need a month to find their velocity. In Hughes’ case, he’s coming off a career-high 176.1 innings pitched and he is a power arm. I think we need to give him until May before we start to worry. For now, I’ll tentatively say that this is a blip on the radar that’s worth monitoring.