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October 10, 2015

Jeff Banister

Arlington, Texas - Workout Day

MODERATOR: We'll get started with questions for Jeff Banister. Who wants to start?

Q. Do you -- are you still on hold on the Game 4 starter or are you -- do you guys got one that you want to --
JEFF BANISTER: We're going to go with Derek Holland Game 4. Derek will be -- we've decided that Derek will pitch Game 4 for us if necessary. We like Derek.

We like the body of work, we like what we've seen from him lately. So I mean that's essentially -- we all got together and one of the more challenging decisions that we've had to make, felt like that we definitely had a tough decision and really we were in good place because we had two candidates that we felt really good about, in Colby Lewis and Derek Holland, and really just felt like Derek was the fit for us this time around.

Q. Did it come down to the ground ball/fly ball thing? Colby's a fly ball pitcher?
JEFF BANISTER: Well, I think you look at all factors, that's just two of them being if you want to split it up between ground ball/fly ball ratio, like that, but I don't think that was the only thing. That wasn't the end-all for us. But making these decisions, I mean, these are dynamic decisions for an organization, for a team. And again, I echo that we feel good about going either way with either guy. You look at the history of Colby Lewis and just what he means to this organization in the games that he has pitched for this organization not only in the regular season but in the Postseason. I mean, you go back and look at them, they've been pretty significant. So that in itself, what Colby has done for us this year, we didn't just say, hey -- it wasn't a slam did you think for us, and that's why this really has taken us some time to make the decision. But just felt like it was the right decision for us at this time.

Q. Will Colby in the bullpen?
JEFF BANISTER: Yes, he's been in the bullpen for us the whole time.

Q. I know you haven't seen Beltre today, but do you have any feeling for how that's going in the progress he's making?
JEFF BANISTER: I'm trying to absorb all the back pain I possibly can, that's my feeling, TR. Talking about take it all, gladly. I've talked to our medical staff, our training staff and the report is that he's day-to-day, has made some improvement, continues to get better, was not here today obviously. I mean, we felt like the best thing for him to do is rest and get the treatments as needed. And so again, I'll say this: I mean, you can never, never count Adrian out of anything, and where I think he is right now is probably irrelevant. It's about where he's at, how I feel? I feel how Adrian feels at this point. I'll rely on Adrian and our medical staff, training staff to give me their best assessment on where he's at going forward.

Q. So just to follow up with that, given that you guys were on a plane for three, three and a half hours, there were no issues that he reported in terms of it seizing up or anything like that?

Q. How do you think Josh Hamilton did physically, 23 innings on the turf over the two days?
JEFF BANISTER: Well, I'm sure that it took its toll. I think it took its toll on everybody really, on both ballclubs. That was a challenging game not only physically but mentally. There was a lot of energy and effort spent in a well-fought ballgame that I'm still kind of processing myself. I know that -- I'm sure that as we all laid down last night, including you all, probably felt the effects of it. So as far as Josh is concerned, he was out there working today, and taking BP and seemed to be moving around and moving good and I'm encouraged where he's at. Again he's another one, this is a body of a guy that, I mean when it's right, it's really good, but it's also at the stage of his career where, look, it can feel the effects but didn't see any of that today during the workout.

Q. Speaking of Josh, he and Prince are a combined 1-for-18 in the series and yet you guys have still scored 11 runs in two games so it's pretty good do you feel there's still more in the tank for the offense for these guys to get going with Adrian down.
JEFF BANISTER: Jeff, that's a terrific thought process to look at these games and short series like this where you go into a series and you go through your advance scouts, you talk about how you're going to attack a certain group of hitters and hitters that you don't want to let beat you and managing the lineup. So look, I'm sure we have a group of hitters in our lineup that other ballclubs would say hey, let's make the other guys beat us. And when you start talking about, you hear it all the time and it sounds like cliche, but make other players beat you and that's when you see other players step up and find a way. As we've been talking about all year long of being able to construct a lineup when you put innings together and you have different runs in the lineup where you can do different things to score runs, to plate runs, that's the idea of this game is to find a way for guys to get on base and maneuver around the base paths so you can score. To have those guys sitting in the middle of the lineup, and to be where they are right now. Also I look up and how proud I am at the bottom part of our lineup, and the leadoff hitter to be able to do what they're doing and we're scoring runs, yeah, it's -- I believe there's still more in the tank.

Q. You talk about scoring runs but talk about Rougned, the two runs he scored yesterday were both big. He scored both. Just talk about his aggressiveness and how that has really impacted you guys?
JEFF BANISTER: I'll start with this and give our baserunning coach, Jayce Tingler as much credit as anybody. What he's meant to our team and you look up and look at our baserunning and what we've asked our guys to do and his message, also our development staff of what they've been able to do with our guys in preparing these guys to be able to play at this level and the things that you need to do to run the bases properly, I believe that baserunning can be dynamic, it can win you ball games. And when you make mistakes on the base paths and you don't run the base correctly, it can also hurt you. It can keep you from scoring. I also believe there are certain players that I alluded to yesterday that you just completely will yourself to score. And that's where I think Rougned Odor is. He's similar to Delino DeShields, they will themselves to score, that's their sole purpose it to cross home plate and they're going to do whatever they can do. And great heads-up baserunning make the slides that he made, they're in credible.

Q. I have two separate questions. One, was Adrian swinging the bat all on his own? Did you even know he was doing that in the tunnel?
JEFF BANISTER: Well, guys do things in the tunnel that I'm not necessarily aware of, but I'm in direct communication with the bench coach and all of our coaches of what we ask our guys to do and what they can do. So it was a time that we needed to find out.

Q. Also, Odor is -- the deeper you guys go, his star is rising and media's on him, they like stars in the playoffs. How do you think what he's been through this summer will help him handle that stuff? And would you talk to him about that? Is that something you would get into?
JEFF BANISTER: We've already talked to our guys about what the expectations and what may happen going forward. So I believe that our development staff has already laid that groundwork with a lot of our guys. They raise these guys up in the minor leagues and help prepare them for being in the big leagues. But what I will tell you this, is that I don't think -- you don't get to know until you've gone through it. So to answer the question, we'll find out.

Q. Jeff, in Spring Training you guys said your philosophy in baseball is to play ball, have fun, and that hard work will always beat talent. When was it that you really saw that?
JEFF BANISTER: Oh, I think we're a talented group. You don't play in the big leagues unless you're a talented player. It's how well that you can combine the talent with hard work, perseverance, resilient, grit and determination, and just the shear passion and love for playing the game and playing with each other, or playing for each other is really the challenge. So I think coming out of Spring Training, we saw all those elements and ingredients. The real challenge is keeping it going throughout the year, keeping it moving in an upward trend and not peaking or plateauing too soon. So I think that our guys have really been able to maintain a certain speed of that and didn't get too far ahead of themselves or try to -- I think that's where the one game at a time, the only game he plays is the one you have today and the mentality that really aids where you don't peak too soon.

MODERATOR: Thank you, Jeff. We'll see you tomorrow.

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