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Oct. 6 Dave Roberts pregame interview

October 6, 2017

Q. The wait is finally over. You've got the 25-man on there. Your thought about why some of the choices to have Kyle on there and Pedro on there and leaving some other guys off?DAVE ROBERTS: I think having the third catcher just gives us the flexibility to use either Austin

Q. The wait is finally over. You've got the 25-man on there. Your thought about why some of the choices to have Kyle on there and Pedro on there and leaving some other guys off?
DAVE ROBERTS: I think having the third catcher just gives us the flexibility to use either Austin or Yasmani in a big spot off the bench and to have coverage with Kyle. Also, I love Kyle's at-bat quality. He can play third, he can play some second, some first. So he gives us that versatility. But his quality of at-bat played a factor in that.
As far as Baez versus Locastro, I think that ultimately Pedro has been a big part of what we've done all year. I trust him. Arguably he's been our highest leveraged reliever outside of Kenley all year. So I just think it makes sense.
Q. Naturally Locastro was in it for the speed element. You said if he made it was going to be for his legs as a burner. Your thought about, do you think without him you guys lack in that perhaps in close games here in the postseason?
DAVE ROBERTS: I think the dynamic to flat out steal a base. I think that we don't have that guy. Can we steal a base are there numerous guys that can steal a base, absolutely? But that element of a sheer base stealer that Tim brought, we don't have that. So, but, you look at the Diamondbacks and a right-handed dominant lineup. So to have Petey as a match-up guy with potential, I think that that gives us a big advantage too.
Q. Can you take us through the decision on Logan over Chase?
DAVE ROBERTS: Well, obviously I don't think that we could have made a wrong decision. I think that part of it is I think there is a tick grade better from defense from Logan. You've got your ace on the mound and the ability to have Chase on the bench to use him at any point in time to impact the game from the bench I think holds huge value whether to hit for Logan or hit in the pitcher's spot. I also think that as Logan's first postseason, I think it's a benefit for him to start a game, to get into the game, the flow of the postseason as opposed to coming off the bench and taking his first pinch-hit or postseason at-bat off the bench potentially. So Chase, Logan, those guys, it doesn't always matter for us who starts. I expect Chase to be a part of this game in some capacity. But that's kind of what my thoughts were.
Q. What do you make of this first week of the postseason with all these starters getting hammered? Any common threads?
DAVE ROBERTS: Common threads? I think that hitters have been aggressive and just kind of mislocation. Guys are taking good at-bats, they're spoiling pitches. Pitch counts are getting way up there, and you can see managers going to their pen pretty early.
That's the great thing about this game though, it's just so unpredictable. You can draw it out, talk about it, but you've still got to go out there and play. But as far as tonight, I'll take our chance with our guy.
Q. With the expectations that seemingly always exist with the Dodgers and then you get the discussion of the five division titles and the record season this year, and somebody brings up the payroll and all those things when they're rolled into one, now you're in lap two, how does that manifest in terms of your experience? What do you hear, what do you think about, what do you not think about all of that discussion about this is a must-win team and time?
DAVE ROBERTS: I just think that speaking for the guys in the clubhouse we have more expectations for ourselves than I think that anyone could put on us. We all haven't been here for the last five division championships, but we understand what it means to the see, this fan base. It's a great group of guys, players. We know the opportunity we have.
Up to this point we've done pretty well in putting ourselves in a situation to win it all. But right now we do a good job of not getting too far ahead of things that we really can't control. We don't know what's going to happen in the World Series, but I know that we have an opponent in Arizona that we've prepared for, we know, and we've got to beat them in a short series. So that's our only focus.
Not to say that we don't know ultimately what the goal is and what you're expectations are, but I don't see it as pressure. We know we have the capability. We just have to go out there and play.
Q. With all the experience that Rich Hill has and all the ups and downs he's been through over the year, what can he bring to the clubhouse, and how does that manifest itself?
DAVE ROBERTS: Rich is kind of -- this could go a couple different ways, but I'm going to keep it straight. Rich is a great guy. He's a great competitor. He's whacky on his start days. It's been well documented that he and I have had some good run-ins, it's been great. But that edge that he brings and the way that this guy prepares like no other, he's a baseball player. He gets more mad when he swings and misses than he does giving up a homer. This guy thinks he's superman on the baseball field. So it's kind of comical at times. But guys love him. He competes. When you have guys like Clayton, Alex Wood, Richie, and for you to come into this environment, it's a good foursome. They kind of feed off each other. You look at our teams that are built for the postseason, and you've got to pitch. That starting depth, I think that we have it, and Rich is right there in the middle of it.
Q. What is your message to the team tonight before they take the field, and what is your message to the fans?
DAVE ROBERTS: My message to the fans I'll start with. I think it's going to be a group that's going to go out there and compete for 27 outs tonight and we're going to do the same thing tomorrow. I think that you look back at this season, it's a group that fans can appreciate in how we go about our business. So we'll see more of that this postseason. The intensity and the focus continues to heighten. No message to play for the players. We talked about it yesterday, and we're ready to go.
Q. You did use Pedro in high-leverage, middle of the lineup situations all year, will that change in the postseason because of his struggles?
DAVE ROBERTS: I think every situation -- not every situation, most situations are still high leverage, but to your point, I think if you're looking at highest leverage relievers, obviously Kenley's at the top, and I probably have Morrow behind him, with Cingrani and Watson from the left side 1 and 1A. So that's going to be more match-up driven, but Petey, Strip, Kenta, they're all in the mix.
Q. With Maeda on the roster, just a small sample size of him in the bullpen. I guess you like what you saw from him, is that why he's on the roster?
DAVE ROBERTS: Yeah, Kenta out of the pen, certain guys have the ability that their stuff plays up out of the pen versus as a starter. So you look at what Kenta's done as a starter, what he's done providing length for us, the ability to get a right-hand hitter out, so, and you're looking at the Diamondbacks who are predominantly right-handed, Baez toward a right-handed bat. So, yeah, he makes sense for our roster, and he's done a great job.
Q. Rich Hill just talked about how he gets fired up when he gets ready to pitch. Is that a compliment for the staff and the rest of the clubhouse as well?
DAVE ROBERTS: Yeah, it starts from the moment he walks in the clubhouse. There is just that glazed look over his eyes, and he's really not seeing or hearing you. So that certainly is contagious, and it heightens the focus and not that we need that tonight or this series. But anytime he takes the mound, I think we all get fired up. Just everyone feeds off of it. So I think that Rich has taken a little bit from that. I think Alex being with Clay ton the last few years has taken some of that. Like I said, even you being around this short period of time and sees the work in between starts and the preparation that goes into being a superstar pitcher. It's fun for us to see him on his start day. But the days in between are really, I mean, you could argue are more special to see how detail oriented and how diligent he is with his work in between start days.
Q. Do you want your starting pitchers to be kind of crazy?
DAVE ROBERTS: You know, I think that if I scripted it, probably not, but if you look at the body of work from our guys, they're all crazy. I think Yu is probably the most mild-mannered and most normal. But Clayton, he's crazy on his day. Rich, you guys just had Rich, he's crazy. Alex, sneaky crazy. Yu's kind of, I'm still learning him, but I would say he's the most normal out of all of them. So I guess maybe.
Q. Is Wood in the bullpen tonight?
DAVE ROBERTS: Alex will have his turfs on, but if he is summoned to go get his spikes on and head down to the bullpen, I'm sure he's open to it. But as it starts, he'll be in the dugout.
Q. After spring training and the 104 wins and the SI cover --
DAVE ROBERTS: SI got us by the way. It's like the Maddon curse.
Q. So many little chapters, in this big chapter, but what would your dad tell you today if you had a conversation with him?
DAVE ROBERTS: I actually had a good cry earlier today. What would he tell me? He'd be wearing his big Dodgers blue jacket he would just tell me how proud he was. Just go have fun. Yeah, he was proud of me. So that's probably what it comes down to. Yeah.
Q. Who is traveling with the team and who is headed off to Arizona?
DAVE ROBERTS: We have a group of about six guys that are at the stay-hot camp. The Dodgers stay-hot camp, Camelback Ranch. So we have those guys. And the guys that are traveling with us, McCarthy, Ryu, Culberson, Joc Pederson, I might be missing one other guy. They're going to be traveling with us and working out. But the other guys, the Brock Stewart, Walker Buehler, Tim Locastro, I might be missing somebody else. They're going to be at Camelback working out and doing their thing. So being ready if something changes for the next series.
Q. Adrian's traveling?
DAVE ROBERTS: Adrian will be here. With his back. I'm going to leave that to Adrian to make that decision. So obviously he's a huge asset and we love to have him around. He'll be here tonight and tomorrow. But I'll let him make that decision and just kind of with his back.
Q. With Stripling making the roster, was he another issue of guys not being here all year?
DAVE ROBERTS: Yeah, I think so. It kind of boils down to, do we trust him? Do you think ahead in the post in a big spot on that stage? And I think Ross can execute a pitch when he needs to, and it wasn't an ideal September for Ross. But if you look at each outing, there was some, you don't want to call it luck, but there was some soft contact that certain hits got through and it leads to an ERA that people look at.
So as far as quality pitch making, he's as good as we have, really. So to get the righty out, he gets lefties out. He gets length. So there is certainly an advantage having him on the roster.