home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 17, 2017

Jim Leyland

Luke Gregerson

Danny Duffy

San Diego, California

Q. A casual fan might look at your roster, the pitching staff, and not see a household name like Kershaw and think that it's an inferior pitching staff. Can you speak to what your starting pitching has done this tournament?
JIM LEYLAND: Well, everybody's done a good job, 1 through 14, all the pitchers have done a good job. It was a little tricky that first round because you have the pitch count obviously. It goes up a little higher this round. So hopefully we can continue that.

We stressed our bullpen the first game a little bit, but since then it's been pretty good. So hopefully they can continue that. Obviously you're pitching against really good lineups now, so very proud of the way they've responded so far.

Q. The first round is different, but now you have a lot more detailed scouting reports like on Puerto Rico that you didn't see in the first round?
JIM LEYLAND: Yeah, I'd say they're a little bit better. I think in a format like this, some of the guys know those guys, and I think you don't want to overthink it. I just want my guys to stay with their strengths and pitch the way they're capable of pitching, same way with the hitting. Stay with your strengths. But we do have a little bit more information as you go on, sure.

Q. I just ask Danny, just to follow up on the first question, you guys have heard for so long about who is not here. When you look at the pitching staff, you and other starters included, is there that much of a difference between the guys who are here and the guys who aren't here, or is that just something you use to motivate yourself?
DANNY DUFFY: It's hard for me to speak to that because I can't even sit at the same lunch table as some of those guys. I just tried to fill in wherever I can and do my job. I've been feeding off Archer, and Stroman, and obviously Smyly had a heck of a game the other day.

You know, when I got invited here I just, you know, figured it was a huge honor, and if you're here, it means you're good enough to be here, and that's enough for me.

Q. Luke, for you, like, if this was regular Spring Training, you're probably pitching the fifth or sixth inning to face more marquee guys. Pitching in the 8th or 9th inning here, does it prepare you more for the season just because of that adrenaline rush?
LUKE GREGERSON: No, I think I've been thrown in a lot of high-leverage situations my whole career since the day I got here. I think when you come into an atmosphere like this, you're not just playing for one team. You're playing for your whole country here. So obviously the adrenaline's going to be a little different at times. But we've played in some pretty big games over the years, and sometimes you've got to step back, take a deep breath and keep doing what you're capable of and good things happen.

Q. Luke, can you talk a little bit about winning in the fashion that you guys did the other night, the momentum, the excitement that kind of has been building, especially here in San Diego and around Petco Park? Do you guys feel that as players as well?
LUKE GREGERSON: Absolutely. I mean, we're obviously here playing a lot of really good teams. Dominican, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, we've got some lineups here that are some of your marquee players in the game. You go out there and you face them all clumped together now, and it can be a little nerve-racking at times.

But I think it says a lot about this team to be able to go out there and just keep grinding away, grinding away, every at-bat, every pitch. We've found a way to come out late in the game and score some runs, which was huge for us, and it changed the whole dynamic of that game the other day.

But at the end of the day, we're all Major League athletes, and we faced each other before. They've faced us, we've faced them, and we're prepared for them.

Q. Can you talk about your lineup tonight, what the difficult decisions might have been? Also, I know you're seeing the comments from managers around the game every day about their guys needing to play. How difficult has this been for you?
JIM LEYLAND: Well, I think, first of all, you want to be respectful of those managers. I understand some of the comments. I truly do. I know they want to get their players as many at-bats. I understand they want their pitchers to pitch. I understand they don't necessarily want them back to back.

With all that being said, I'll make it simple, I'm doing the best I can. Maybe those guys four years from now, maybe they'll be managing this team, who knows. And I don't mean that sarcastically. It's not an easy job. You're trying to keep all the players happy. You're trying to get everybody in there.

I like my lineup tonight. I really like my lineup tonight. I think it's a very good lineup. We've got a little bit more speed there at the top and the bottom. We're getting Harrison in the game. He deserves to get in the game. He's here.

You just can't get everybody. I can't give everybody exactly 20 at-bats every player, and I can't give every pitcher exactly seven innings. Doesn't work that way.

So, as I said before, we're trying to win this thing and we're trying to send everybody back healthy and happy.

Q. The last two times Puerto Rico and the United States have faced each other, both were pretty big wins by Puerto Rico, and important games, at the Pan American Games and the World Baseball Classic. Has your club talked at all about being motivated by that this time around?
JIM LEYLAND: I've got a team you don't have to motivate. These guys are professionals. They know how to grind it out. They know what's at stake. You know, you're talking about an outstanding Major League closer. You're talking about a guy that pitched on a World championship team. There's nothing that I really need to say to motivate them.

I'm not really a rah-rah guy, to be honest with you. I like to have fun with them. I enjoy their company. They've been wonderful. That's all I can tell you. They've been absolutely cooperative, tremendous, and I wish them all the best of luck in the regular season this year. They've been fantastic.

Q. Jim, since you worked for the Tigers, like a game like last night when Miguel Cabrera leaves in the fifth inning, do you have any Tigers officials call you checking on is Miguel okay?
JIM LEYLAND: I mean, that was taken care of right away. Obviously Omar called Brad and assured him he was okay. They think it's just a little tweak, but you never know about that.

I actually had coffee with his dad today, and his dad told me that he was okay. I don't think he'll play any more in this tournament, probably, although I don't want to speak for Venezuela.

But I think you worry about all those things. But I think Adam Jones said it best. You play safety first, I think you've got a better chance of getting hurt than you do if you just go out and do what you normally do. Just compete. And nobody can predict if there's going to be an injury or not.

Is it a nightmare for me? Yes, to be honest with you. I've stayed up a lot of nights prior to this thing worrying about that kind of stuff. But I think if you just go out, be aggressive, play your game, be yourself, and, you know, hopefully good things happen.

Q. In this round you guys are playing every other day. Can you talk about the pluses and minuses of that?
JIM LEYLAND: Well, like yesterday, we took the day off. We didn't practice; these guys are playing a lot of innings earlier than they normally would. They wouldn't be playing this many innings this early, normally.

I felt it was good to get away from the ballpark yesterday to relax a little bit with their families and have an enjoyable time. I mean, this is about -- once we get between the lines, I want them to be ready to compete as hard as they can, but I want them to have a life, too. This is not life or death. I want them to enjoy their families, and hopefully they did.

So I don't really worry about that, but, like I said, this is a time, and I think you've got to make time for the families too. This is enjoyable for the wife and kids. They've got to be able to do something. They don't want to sit in the room all day and then just go to the ballgame at night. They've got to have a life. So it's been great so far, and hopefully it will continue.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297