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Oct. 5 Dave Roberts Dodgers Workout Day interview

October 5, 2017

Q. Is there any point in asking about the roster?DAVE ROBERTS: Alex Wood will start Game 4, Ryu is not going to be on the postseason roster. Although he's had a tremendous season, just seeing the roll out of the pen, he's not comfortable with it. So I think that

Q. Is there any point in asking about the roster?
DAVE ROBERTS: Alex Wood will start Game 4, Ryu is not going to be on the postseason roster. Although he's had a tremendous season, just seeing the roll out of the pen, he's not comfortable with it. So I think that as we go through match-ups and looking at the roster, Alex is the clear choice to start Game 4.

Q. Just watching the game last night, what was your reaction when you saw Robbie Ray coming in, knowing that you guys had kind of been preparing to see him in Game 1?

DAVE ROBERTS: It wasn't totally a surprise to us as we were sitting here watching the game, understanding that it was a win-or-go-home game, and so obviously when you've got arguably your best pitcher at your disposal to exhaust him, make sense, and to then have him available for Game 2 and Game 5 possibly, it made sense.

Q. Selfishly were you jumping up-and-down when you say Ray come in? Do you think that makes a difference for you guys, any advantage in this series?

DAVE ROBERTS: You want my honest opinion?

Q. Yes, please.

DAVE ROBERTS: No, I think that it wasn't a surprise, but obviously it gave them the best chance to win the game. But when you're thinking about having him start Game 1, and it doesn't change a whole lot because he would still start Game 5. So you still potentially could see him twice. So still Taijuan, he's pitched well against us, Godley, Zack obviously has had some success, and Ray has really got the best of us. So they've got a deep starting staff.

Q. Wood starting Game 4, is that set in stone or could somebody else perhaps try to talk their way into that start?

DAVE ROBERTS: Set in stone. Set in stone. If there is a Game 4, Alex Wood will start Game 4. Clayton won't go on short rest. When you acquire a guy like Yu Darvish, and you have Alex Wood have the season that he's had, that's why you do things like that. Last year was a different year. And I can't speak to two years ago or years prior with Clayton, but we've assured him that he doesn't need to prepare for a short -- going on short rest.

Q. Do you feel that there's more of a luxury this year with not having Clayton have to go on short rest because you have somebody with such a quality arm like an Alex Wood that perhaps you didn't have in the past forcing Clayton to go on short rest?

DAVE ROBERTS: Absolutely. You talk about winning postgame series and the depth of a starting rotation, and to put, albeit in our opinion the best pitcher in all of baseball on short rest, it's still tough. No one's doing it within the modern kind of -- within the last ten years. Guys don't pitch on short rest in the postseason. So Clayton is certainly an outlier and to not have to tax him more than he's been taxed in the past, I think that it speaks to what we have on our starting staff. To feel confident, very confident with Alex taking the ball in the potential Game 4.

Q. You said Ryu is not in the postseason roster, but he's going to be in the series, what is the plan for him?

DAVE ROBERTS: The plan for him is we want him to be on our taxi squad. So basically he's going to stay hot, stay with the ballclub. He's going to stay with us, travel with us, and continue to throw to hitters and throw pen. So if something unforeseen or we choose because of a potential match-up to activate him, he'll still have his length and be ready to be activated.

Q. Not sure if you saw that report that Major League Baseball is investigating the Diamondbacks because it was captured that one of their coaches had that iPhone watch on.

DAVE ROBERTS: Fill me in. Did it involve an Apple watch?

Q. Does that raise any alarm bells with you or concerns?

DAVE ROBERTS: No, the commissioner was very clear on what is supposed to be in the dugout, what devices are being used or allowable. So I'm sure they've got it -- they'll take care of it. So, yeah. I'm not going to concern myself with the Apple watch in the Diamondbacks dugout.

Q. Just following up on that, with Clayton not going on short rest at all, do you think that's for the whole postseason or just this round? I know you're not focused beyond that. Is it based on any analytics that you've done on sort of how he's fared throughout when he's done that multiple times throughout the playoffs?

DAVE ROBERTS: I think it's more based on can I say that it won't happen this entire postseason right now, I can't sit here and say that. Is it based on analytics? I think it's more based on personnel and what we have in-house. Obviously, logic says that any pitcher that's used to routine and going on regular rest is probably stronger and has a best chance of success. But to be quite honest, I haven't looked at those short rest outings. I really haven't.

I just think that with the guys we have in our clubhouse, the guys that can take the ball, and in this case Alex Wood, for us, it's a no-brainer.

Q. Does the last start of Colorado change his role in the postseason?

DAVE ROBERTS: No. With Hyun-Jin, I think it was clear that Alex earned the opportunity to start a playoff game. For Ryu to finish the season in Colorado, and it was more of just a continue to have him pitch, stay built up unless, if something happened by way of injury to keep him going. But I think it also boiled down to number one, Alex earned the opportunity, and number two, Ryu's being uncomfortable and unfamiliar with the bullpen role.

Q. All season long you've had guys do things and be put in positions to make them a bit uncomfortable. You said you wanted to challenge them to do so. Is that for this time, preparing them all season long perhaps to do something out of their comfort zone in a different role this postseason?

DAVE ROBERTS: Absolutely. Absolutely. I think the thing is that we've done a good job of this of putting guys in different positions, whether it be pinch-hitting, different parts of the lineup, different positions on the field. And I think that things like that, I think will help us on the back end. I'm really a big believer on not having our guys do something that they're not capable of doing. So even in the playoff situation.

So I think that the things we've done with our roster, with our team, the lineup, I feel comfortable going forward and just continuing to kind of execute the way we've done it.

It kind of bleeds into something as far as strategics and stuff like that, which I'm not going to go too much into. But a lot of it I think that our guys are prepared for whatever situation my coach or myself have put them in.

Q. When you have this much familiarity with a team, who has more the advantage, the pitchers or the hitters?

DAVE ROBERTS: That's a good question. I think typically rule of thumb or kind of philosophically people feel in baseball feel the hitter has more the advantage the more times you see certain tendencies from a pitcher. The release point, what the characteristics of their secondary pitches might do or their fastball. But also the pitcher has control of the game. He can dictate how he wants to kind of sequence and go at a particular hitter.

So I think we've seen these guys a lot. So I just think it kind of comes down to a little bit of the cat and mouse, but I think it comes down to execution. Our guy, their guy. Our guys in the box, and we've got to execute. When they make a mistake, we've got to be able to capitalize and vice versa. So I don't think it's an advantage. I think it's more of who is going to be better this series and what pitcher-hitter combination is going to be better.

Q. Are there still roster decisions being made?

DAVE ROBERTS: There are. There's one more. 25th man. We haven't settled on that final spot, J.P. It's a bullpen, and it's a position player. It's an extra guy off the bench. So we're still deliberating.

Q. Is this 25-man spot harder or was the 25-man coming out of spring training harder? Because Chris Taylor wasn't on it, and now you can't take him out of the lineup?

DAVE ROBERTS: Yeah, Chris Taylor's on the 25-man this time. Oh, gosh, I think this one's harder. This one's a little bit harder because I think that you're looking at now we have clarity. We know we're playing the Diamondbacks, and we know their personnel. So how to try to forecast how each game is going to play out, impossible. But when you kind of weigh the combination and figure out who could impact our team that game or multiple games, that's kind of the -- that's kind of where we're at, our little quandary.

So I think you could spin it and talk through it, but this is fun. We have good debates.