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October 12, 2015

Jeff Banister

Arlington, Texas - Pregame

MODERATOR: We'll get started with some questions for Jeff Banister.

Q. What went into your decision to go with Derek Holland today over Colby Lewis given that both of them got a little roughed up down the stretch?
JEFF BANISTER: Well, first, the body of work of Derek Holland, the complement of pitches, how we feel that he stacks up against these hitters. That's not to say that Colby Lewis would not have been a good decision. The body of work of Colby Lewis this year, the significance of Colby Lewis to the Rangers organization, and what he's done in the Postseason in the past, very challenging decision, one that it took us a while to get to this point. As a matter of fact, we didn't even announce until a couple days ago who is going to start. It's really when you have two pitchers the caliber of Colby and Derek, you have two options. We feel like we're in a pretty good spot to have the choice of either. Felt like that also given the structure of our bullpen and where we felt our bullpen was going to be and the ability to have another right-hander out in the bullpen benefited us also. That's for the most part how we got to the conclusion.

Q. Was Beltre even a consideration today or is he just not even close to game-ready?
JEFF BANISTER: Oh, I consider Beltre about every second of the day. When Adrian tells me he's ready to go, then obviously we'll make that decision. Right now still continuing to get worked on, has made some marginal improvement, not to the point yet that he's ready to start. So we'll continue to press on, press forward. And again, that's the way of sport, too. We always kind of wade through and walk through these obstacles. And there are other players that seem to step up, to step forward in these type of situations, and we've actually had a young man in Alberto Hanser has actually stepped up and played well for us. So that's a comfort. But yeah, I would like to consider AB at some point.

Q. Jeff, in the final week of the regular season when you had more pitchers, you didn't seem real keen on the idea of Yovani out of the bullpen. Maybe I misread you, but will he be available out there today?
JEFF BANISTER: Jerry, I think it's a situation where we're at the point we're all hands on deck really. The availability of everyone. Now, you've still got to consider if this doesn't go the way that we would like it to go, there's still a Game 5. So we have to continue to have that in our thought process and in plans also, that we don't want to look -- not look at where we need to be if this thing doesn't go the direction we would like it to go.

Q. What's this experience been like for you and how much are you able to take in knowing you still have a job to do?
JEFF BANISTER: I think I'm probably a little more on the reflection side when it comes to this situation. It's still baseball for me and it's still -- today we have a baseball game to play and my mindset is being prepared for today's game. What do we need to do today to put our best ballclub that we have available to us on the field to make decisions throughout the game that give us the best opportunity of success. As far as what I'm able to take in, look, rookie manager. Hey, everything that I'm experiencing to this point on the managerial side is, in essence, brand new to me as a manager. But I feel comfortable that there is a knowledge and a learning process for me that every single play that goes by, every pitch that goes by, there's a log of information that I'm trying to learn from, be able to have a bank of information that I can draw on for the next experience, being if it's the next pitch, the next play or the next day, but also trying to hang on to them so that when everything is completed, that there will be some reflection for me. But right now it's a task, a job to stay focused on.

Q. If I could dig in your memory bank, you caught and were with a pretty good knuckler with Wakefield?
JEFF BANISTER: Tim Wakefield.

Q. In the Pittsburgh organization. That was a couple years ago, but is there anything from your experience working and catching that you can apply today going against a knuckler which, as you said, is a little different than all the others?
JEFF BANISTER: Yeah, I think all knuckleballers are a little bit unique. Tim early on, very similar to Dickey in a sense they both threw the knuckleball fairly firm early on. And I think Tim was able to, midway into his career, kind of throttle the knuckleball. He had a couple different ones where he could throw a firmer one and then a softer one, and he actually could get the ball to move arm side, to glove side, so there was a little different control there. Seems like R.A. Dickey is similar. What I do know is that when they're really good and they have a really good one, it's very challenging to catch. It makes it for a long day for a catcher. You know, presents a whole set of challenges that can benefit a club if they had a number of base runners. The other thing is that I know if you go out as a hitter and you try to charge a knuckleball, it's probably not going to benefit you much. You've got to let the knuckleball travel, you've got to get it elevated, you've got to be able to have some patience as well.

Q. Jeff, you mentioned a minute ago about Hanser stepped up in this role with Adrian out. What has he showed you as a young kid? A kid that clearly didn't get a lot of opportunities in September. The most we saw of his activities is leading the cheers and being the first one out of the dugout? What does it say about how he handled himself with this pressure?
JEFF BANISTER: Well, leading those cheers and staying engaged really tells you just where his mind is at. He was engaged, paid attention, and he showed up, which has allowed him to be ready for this challenge. But he's poised, feels comfortable, and really is playing well. I mean, this is a young guy that every day that he goes out there and plays in this type of environment is a brand new experience for him also. But it just shows you just how good our development system really is and how they prepare our guys for when they come to the big leagues to be ready, ready to play, ready to show up and contribute.

Q. Is Beltre available to pinch-hit and has he been able to do anything in the cage?
JEFF BANISTER: The report I got last night is that he did some soft toss in the cage last night, and again, my answer to that question is that when Adrian tells me he's ready to go, then he'll be ready to go.

MODERATOR: Thanks, Jeff.


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