Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Oct. 17 Dave Roberts pregame interview

MLB.com

Q. Could you just talk a little bit about how you came to the decisions for the lineup tonight with left field, centerfield, and catcher?

DAVE ROBERTS: As far as catcher, I think Austin has put forth some good at-bats. Yasi hasn't had that much success against Hendricks, and the way Austin's receiving the rapport with the pitchers, I think it's been elite. So we'll get -- look to get Yasmani in there tomorrow against Arrieta.

As far as second base, want to get Chase involved, have Logan available off the bench, but, yeah, Logan's playing great. I think it's a good matchup for Chase, and I like him in the lineup.

I think for 'Dre to have Curtis off the bench against any of their right-handed relievers, I like that matchup. Also with 'Dre, I think I like him against Hendricks to just kind of put quality at-bats together, give Curtis a little blow and maybe get him in there in a big spot. Obviously with Joc in there in centerfield, we trust Taylor at short.

Q. We've talked about how your team has the lowest chase rate in the majors as far as hitting. Is that something -- obviously it's been emphasized, but is that something you can teach, or have you just assembled a group of hitters who are very good at that?

Q. Could you just talk a little bit about how you came to the decisions for the lineup tonight with left field, centerfield, and catcher?

DAVE ROBERTS: As far as catcher, I think Austin has put forth some good at-bats. Yasi hasn't had that much success against Hendricks, and the way Austin's receiving the rapport with the pitchers, I think it's been elite. So we'll get -- look to get Yasmani in there tomorrow against Arrieta.

As far as second base, want to get Chase involved, have Logan available off the bench, but, yeah, Logan's playing great. I think it's a good matchup for Chase, and I like him in the lineup.

I think for 'Dre to have Curtis off the bench against any of their right-handed relievers, I like that matchup. Also with 'Dre, I think I like him against Hendricks to just kind of put quality at-bats together, give Curtis a little blow and maybe get him in there in a big spot. Obviously with Joc in there in centerfield, we trust Taylor at short.

Q. We've talked about how your team has the lowest chase rate in the majors as far as hitting. Is that something -- obviously it's been emphasized, but is that something you can teach, or have you just assembled a group of hitters who are very good at that?

DAVE ROBERTS: I think it's something that is part of some hitters' DNA, but I think it's something that can be learned if it's a priority. And for our offensive group -- Turner, Tim Hyers, Shawn Wooten -- it's a priority for those guys and the message is very consistent all the way down from those guys.

It's obviously, you know, paid benefits for us to scare pitches out of the strike zone. But when mistakes are made in the strike zone, damage can be had. But trusting the player behind you to get on base and keep the line moving is a big part of what we're trying to do.

Q. Today is yet another anniversary. It's the 13th of your stolen base. Do you ever talk during the course of the year -- does it ever come up with the players? Do you use it as a message? Do some players even know that you did it?

DAVE ROBERTS: I think, funny story, Yu Darvish about two weeks ago I guess was surfing the internet, and there was an a-ha moment. He ran across the stolen base and kind of put two and two together and didn't realize that was his manager. So he proceeded to kind of awkwardly approach me about it and talked about my goatee and how I could steal a base. He just couldn't believe that was my manager. So that was kind of funny.

But I don't bring it up ever. But I think a message that I do bring up in the sense of just being prepared for a particular moment, and I was in 2004. Each guy on our ballclub, I think, can relate to that.

Q. The bridge that you guys have from the starter to Kenley has been really strong lately this season, I guess. What do you like so much about the looks down there in the bullpen, and why have they been so effective for you?

DAVE ROBERTS: I like the way our pen is constructed and the guys that we have in the pen. Match up with virtually anyone, any lineup. So to have that freedom or luxury makes it a lot easier to kind of navigate through a game. So obviously when you have Kenley who can take the ball for more than three outs, and now you can count outs in between your starter and Kenley, I feel good with how we can match up with any ballclub.

So the players, the organization getting the right guys that make sense for our pen has been the key to this success.

Q. Any one of them who surprises you the most or has given you more than you thought?

DAVE ROBERTS: I'd say probably if I had to pick one person, I'd say probably Kenta, because it was so foreign to him as far as the role. But for him to embrace it and to come out firing and throwing the way he has is probably the most -- I guess the most surprising because he'd never done it outside of a couple times this season.

Q. Along those lines, yesterday Joe Maddon referred to Brandon Morrow as your secret weapon. Obviously, he's had an up-and-down career. What has really allowed him to harness his game right now?

DAVE ROBERTS: Well, this is his first time in the postseason. I know he's tremendously excited. He has a way of not letting a moment get too big for him. He's closed before, he's started before. He's an intelligent guy. His delivery is really clean, and he's got plus stuff.

So I think for him, yeah, he started as a non-roster guy for us. Earned an opportunity to get with us and has been great for us this year.

Yeah, like many other guys, I don't know where we'd be without him. And to see where he's come from Spring Training to now pitch some of our highest leverage innings, all the credit goes to him.

Q. Dave, I wonder if you can tell us a little bit about your relationship with Andrew, what it's like working with him? And if you could compare and contrast what he's like compared to Theo based on your -- I know you've had more interactions with Andrew, but based on your interactions with Theo over the years, too.

DAVE ROBERTS: Andrew and I have a great relationship, as do Farhan, Alex Anthopoulos -- the entire baseball ops guys. Both he and Theo are obviously very intelligent guys. They love players, and they understand culture. They understand -- they're both very good leaders. I think that there's a lot of similarities, but I've obviously had a chance to work alongside Andrew considerably more.

But Jed Hoyer on the other side is a good friend of mine as well, so obviously he and Theo are aligned and have been for quite some time. Just I think their ability to connect with players and put the front office and the analytics and kind of meld those with the player and the clubhouse, I think, is unique, and they both have that skill.

Q. I think the other day you described starters in your rotation as variations of crazy. If you could explain what that means, especially even someone like Rich Hill, who seems so mild mannered off the field?

DAVE ROBERTS: Off the field, with his family, days he's not starting, very mild mannered, very normal. On his day to pitch, he's absolutely crazy. He sees red. He's bordering on psychotic. But in the best possible way (smiling).

I just think that starters, certain starters have that craziness about them on their day. There is so much emotion, focus on that one day. And Clayton, you don't talk to him. He just kind of has that dazed look. Alex you'll see tomorrow. He's loose today. He'll be cheering on his teammates, but tomorrow he'll have that killer look in his eye.

But, Yu, like we talked about, he's just still kind of trying to find his way, I guess, or that's just who he is. That mild-mannered demeanor, and he's the same way. You talk to him, have a normal conversation, and we haven't gotten him past the point of normal yet. So I kind of like where he's at. But like I said, they're crazy on their days, but they're all about the team.