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October 9, 2015

Jeff Banister

Toronto, Ontario - Pregame

MODERATOR: Does everybody have a question for Jeff?

Q. Jeff, early in the game yesterday you put pressure on them with your offense starting guys up. Part of that, I know, is consistent with your style all year, but also was there any idea that you get your guys' engines running early in the playoff setting?
JEFF BANISTER: Yeah, that was part of it. Really similar to how we played it against Kershaw earlier in the year, just push the envelope a little bit, and see if we can't get some guys in motion, get them going. First you've got to get on base to be able to do that. That's been kind of our style of play from the bottom end of the lineup as well. Got to be able to have a different skill set to push some guys across the plate. So something that's not normally done against David Price, but felt like it was necessary yesterday.

Q. Jeff, Adrian Beltre not in the lineup this afternoon. Can you provide an update on his status?
JEFF BANISTER: Well, the only update that I have for you is that he's still sore, obviously still has some spasms, but I think that our hope is that he continues to get better. He's going to continue to get worked on and I'm never going to count Adrian out of anything. Toughest guy I've ever been around on a baseball field, so can't count him out of anything.

Q. How hard is it to do what Prince Fielder has done and come back from the surgery that he had and have the kind of season that he did to be a real part of this?
JEFF BANISTER: I mean, there's not enough superlatives to put on to say how hard it is. It's hard. Hard is hard. Really, to be able to get himself to where he is today, it cost him a lot, if you think about it. The hard work, the time, effort, passion for the game, question, because as you go through rehab and you have major surgery like that. And at one point prior to the surgery, there was really some question what was wrong. Then there becomes with question is uncertainty. Even through rehab and extensive rehab, there's uncertainty. Even when you start back up there's still the uncertainty. There's a lot of want-to, but you've got to learn how to again. Until it starts happening, until things start showing up, what you're used to being able to do prior to the injury and prior to the surgery, and then what if did doesn't all come back? Can you be okay with the fact that this is as good as it's going to get?

But for Prince, the unique thing about him is this is a guy that has probably as much love for playing the game of baseball as I've been around. You see it in his face, you see it in his actions, we saw it in spring training, layed down the bunt. He actually hit a ground ball, one of the first hits he had in spring training was an infield single that he had a standing ovation for because ran down the line as hard as anybody and he beat it out in spring training. You don't do that because somebody told me to, you do that because you love to play the game. How hard was it? Extremely hard. And how proud of him am I? About as proud as anybody could be.

Q. Given the time of year that it is with Kela, Diekman and Dyson going 16, 17 pitches yesterday, do you feel all three are good to go today?
JEFF BANISTER: We do, and again that's based on what they tell us, the information we get from them, but they were extremely efficient with what they did yesterday, so we feel that they'll be available to us today.

Q. Jeff, what did you see off Perez in those starts down the stretch? It seemed like at least statistically he responded in some big situations some big games for you where maybe earlier he wasn't pitching that way?
JEFF BANISTER: Early on it's another one of those guys that's injured, Tommy John, come back, there's no measure for what he's going to be when they get back to this level, and then learn how to pitch at this level again. So it was one of those situations where he had to go figure out what he was good at again. So as he learned that, he gained more confidence in it and became more consistent. And again, I think he learned what his intentions were, and then as he was confident, he gained some conviction, which has allowed him to be able to execute pitches better.

Q. Jeff, I didn't pay attention the first two days so it's my fault, but have you had DeShields taking balls at second or will you today just to protect yourself in the infield?
JEFF BANISTER: Well, we've had DeShields periodically take ground balls. Really, it's Gimenez and Chirinos take ground balls every day, so those two guys would be emergency plan, plan B, but if necessary, DeShields, we feel confident would be an option if we need to at second base.

Q. Just a quick follow-up on Adrian, would he be available to pinch-hit today if necessary?
JEFF BANISTER: Well, right now we've got a long ways between now and that time. I know they're going to continue to work on Adrian and, you know, we really hope that we don't get to that point where we need for him to pinch-hit. But given what he did yesterday in an at-bat where I think most of us would have been laying down on the ground in the fetal position, for him to go to the plate and put together and drive a run in is pretty spectacular, so I'm not going to count Adrian out of anything.

MODERATOR: Thank you, Jeff.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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