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Oct. 6 Terry Francona pregame interview

October 6, 2017

Q. Andrew was just up here, and he was saying he thought that Bauer had to kind of earn that, the right to pitch that deep into the game just because the way you guys are modeled with the deep bullpen. Do you agree with that, and do you feel

Q. Andrew was just up here, and he was saying he thought that Bauer had to kind of earn that, the right to pitch that deep into the game just because the way you guys are modeled with the deep bullpen. Do you agree with that, and do you feel like he's kind of earned a little more rope the next time?

TERRY FRANCONA: Oh, I think every game's different. Sometimes it's not just the way a guy is pitching -- although that's probably the most important thing. But the score of the game, things like that. I just think -- I thought last night he earned pitching the way he did and the length he did, but I think every game has its own personality and flow. I don't think you would make a decision going on the game before.

Q. I think it was yesterday you talked about how Austin Jackson has saved your butt. Did you just hear him up here? He talked about the rehab process and getting back and all. Are you surprised at how well he has played, given where he was in the off-season?

TERRY FRANCONA: No, I hate to say surprised. I think we're pleased. I mean, this spring, he came as a non-roster, but he had a pretty good resume behind him. But we talked a lot early about don't try to come back too quick. Let's get you back where you're healthy. I thought it was fair to him. And I think we had like maybe six days to make a decision, which wasn't a lot, but he had done such a good job that I think we felt like this is a guy, being a veteran leader-type guy he is, and a right-handed bat, whether he's playing against lefties or whatever could really be a good fit on our team.

And every time -- he got hurt twice, and then all the other guys got hurt, and he came back and just fit right in and played against righties and lefties and did a terrific job.

Q. Tito, Carrasco's going Sunday. He hasn't maybe gotten the attention of Kluber or even Bauer a little bit. Can you reflect on his time here and maybe what's allowed him to get to a point where he's a top four or five Cy Young guy?

TERRY FRANCONA: He's kind of seen it all and done it all. My first year here, we put him in the bullpen, and about halfway through the year -- as a matter of fact, we were in New York, and Cashy and Mickey both said, He's ready to start.

And I just thought we were too far into the year. I was hesitant. I wished I could sit here and say, oh, yeah, I saw it. I didn't. But those guys talked me into it.

And we started him in New York because we had a day off, and we played the series, and we had another day off, and he hit the ground running. I think his time in the bullpen was the best thing for him ever. He got a chance to watch the game. I think Cashy was good for him. He got in attack mode, where I think when he was starting, when he was younger, he'd worry the four days in between. When he was in the bullpen, he didn't know when he was going to pitch, but when he did pitch, he'd come out and just attack. And he took that mentality with him as a starter.

With his size, with his delivery, he's kind of built to log those innings. This is the first time he ever really did, but it's not because of his arm. He broke a finger or his wrist, and he had a hammy, but he's built to log innings.

Q. I was just wondering about Jay Bruce's impact. Is it sometimes -- not overlooked, but when you have Edwin, does Edwin still kind of take center stage?

TERRY FRANCONA: I don't know. I mean, when you say overlooked, not by us. If you overlook him, I can't help that. I mean, I don't know. We are thrilled that Jay's with us. I mean, last night he was obviously a big part of our offense. But none of our guys get overlooked in our clubhouse. He's been a really potent bat. Like when you put a hitter of that magnitude in the lineup, it's not just the numbers. It's the guys in front, the guys behind, and they kind of elongate your lineup.

Q. Tito, if I could follow up on Jay, does he have the right personality to just kind of seamlessly fit into this group as well, to join a team that had the goals that it did, et cetera?

TERRY FRANCONA: I think he has a really good personality or way about him. I also think our group is easy to assimilate with. They're very welcoming. They make guys feel, after a couple days, they've been here for a while. I also think with Jay, because he did it before, it wasn't the first time because that first time, I think, can be different. Your first team feels a little bit like family, and when you leave for whatever reason, it can be a little different.

But since he went through it with the Mets, he kind of knew what to expect. And our group's really easy.

Q. Tito, you had mentioned the other day about monitoring Brantley a little bit. Have you gotten a better feel for him and whether maybe he might be at the point where he can log time in the outfield?

TERRY FRANCONA: He's going to be off the bench today. We'll have a workout in New York tomorrow at 4:00. If all goes well, he might play Sunday. So that's kind of where we're at. He's, I think, getting to that point.

Q. How excited are you about that, obviously?

TERRY FRANCONA: You know what, on a number of fronts. One, I think he helps us win. But, two, I'm excited for him because last year he missed out. This year, with a lot of hard work, he's now going to be a part of what we're doing. And I think -- I know it will mean a lot to him, and because of that, it means a lot to us.