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October 14, 2019

Aaron Boone

New York, New York - Workout Day

Q. Do you have any more information on Stanton?
AARON BOONE: No, not yet. We're kind of open now for the next couple of hours, guys will be getting treatment. But I wouldn't even imagine that decision will happen probably until tomorrow, kind of see where he's at and get a feel of that.

Q. (No microphone.)
AARON BOONE: I have not.

Q. What do you expect the protocol will be for him today and hitting in the cage and so on? What do you want to see?
AARON BOONE: Well, he hit in the cage yesterday and it went pretty well. But we kind of had it, tried as much as we could, to stay away from testing it or doing those kind of things obviously with the off day today.

I'm not sure exactly what they'll run him through but we'll kind of see and then make a decision moving forward. But I don't really have much more information at this point. Kind of everyone is still sleeping.

Q. What's the pitching plans right now for Wednesday?
AARON BOONE: For Wednesday it will be kind of a bullpen day. And again, kind of obviously depends a lot on what happens tomorrow. J.A. Happ could very much be in the mix, as well as I picture our bullpen being unleashed on that day.

Q. So who is the opener?
AARON BOONE: That will all depend on tomorrow, how we use guys, what the game ends up in, we'll kind of see where we're at going into the next day.

Q. So when you took Green out as quickly as you did yesterday, was that in anticipation of the fact of what you have to do on Wednesday or was there another reason for it?
AARON BOONE: No, no, because we've got days -- a couple of days ahead of that. So, no, that didn't factor into that.

Q. What was in your thought process when you made that decision?

Q. Yeah.
AARON BOONE: Greenie had been through two innings at that point and just felt like we were set up to roll it out how we did. And I think overall it worked out pretty well.

We're up against I think first and second, one out there in the third, down 1-0, and we hold them to a run the rest of the game through the 10th inning.

So not much more than Green had already gone two innings. Liked Otta for that part of the lineup and felt like we could roll it out pretty effectively from there.

Q. What have you been seeing from Sánchez and is there a thought of moving him in the lineup at all?
AARON BOONE: Well, he's been hitting 7th. You want to move him up or down?

Q. Down.
AARON BOONE: Down? No, no. I feel like last night there were a couple of pitches he got. I felt like was all over. But again put him on the net. And those are the times, especially in the postseason when you're facing obviously great pitching, where every pitch is so much poured into it, when you do get a pitch you have to take advantage. He had a couple last night where I thought he got his A swing off.

Even in that James at-bat there was one pitch he got down in the middle of the plate that he put a really good swing on. That's the ball you've got to take advantage of in the postseason because those mistakes are few and far between.

So he's just got to make sure he takes advantage of mistakes, do a little bit job of controlling the zone and we know he's one swing away from really changing the game.

Q. How much is the weather report going to impact what you do -- weather report for Wednesday impact what you do for Tuesday?
AARON BOONE: Not a lot, because I think if weather becomes an issue where the game were to get wiped out Wednesday, that kind of impacts what you do moving forward from there.

But as far as Tuesday, Seve is going, like our matchup there, feel he gives us a great chance. But we'll kind of treat it aggressively and try to win that game. I don't really see Wednesday leaking into that too much.

Q. And bullpen-wise, you think you'll have everybody for Tuesday?
AARON BOONE: Yeah, I do.

Q. A couple of guys that gave you more than one inning?
AARON BOONE: Yeah, obviously we stretched Tommy a little bit, Greenie gave us a couple, but I would expect both those guys to be available.

Q. What's the likelihood you would start Hicks in Game 3?
AARON BOONE: I would say there's definitely a chance of that. Obviously depends a little bit on Giancarlo. But Aaron is very much in play, especially now that we're here, the center left combination of him and Gardy.

It was good to get Aaron into the game last night, thought he had a good at-bat, looked like Aaron Hicks, you know. So he'll very much be part of the conversation moving forward.

Q. When you're going against a guy like Cole, who arguably is the best pitcher in the game at this moment, how much do you modify your strategy or expectations just going into the game?
AARON BOONE: Not a lot. We expect to have success. We know it's going to be tough. 4 o'clock game, the shadows will probably play an issue, as well, and make it difficult. But hopefully as a group we can have some success against him, whether that's wearing him down a little bit, whether that's taking advantage of a couple of mistakes that we do get.

Again, expect Seve to go out and pitch really well. So I don't know if it's deviate much because he's going. You've got to be on top of your game if you're going to have success, and that will be our focus.

Q. What do you see is the difference in Cole between early in the season when you faced him and he was merely very good to from June on when he's been unbeaten?
AARON BOONE: Maybe just in complete control and command of pitches. His ability to not only maintain his stuff throughout his outings, the ability to really pitch at the top of the strike zone with his high-end fastball and really command it up there. Throw it at the top or expand just enough to get swings. And then a couple of electric breaking balls that he's just -- he's in a groove with.

So I would say the biggest thing -- and always the separator for guys, especially guys with elite stuff like he has, is command. And he's commanding the ball as well as he ever has.

Q. Ottavino hasn't seemed quite as sharp as he was earlier in the year. Wonder what you think the reasons are and how does that affect your bullpen hierarchy here?
AARON BOONE: He's got to play a role for us, especially in this series with their right-handed hitters. I think just making sure the sharpness of the slider is there. Again, I know he comes in and gives up the first pitch home run yesterday, but on a first pitch ambush on a mistake, definitely a pitch that he left up and out over the plate a little too much. But he does come right back with a strikeout, weak grounder, strikeout.

Even going back to the last series where we put him in against Cruz where it was at-bats where he's not going to give in. I don't think he's as far off maybe as is being talking. But he's certainly not as sharp as he's been most of the year. But I feel like he's close to being that and I think some small successes hopefully will spur him on because he needs to play a big role for us.

Q. Severino was just in here talking about things he's learned over the three years pitching over in the big leagues. The biggest thing he said was blocking out all the noise, how tough is that for anybody to do, but let alone a still relatively young pitcher who is not ten years in the BIG LEAGUES?
AARON BOONE: Yeah, that's another one of those little separators this time of year. You've got to be able to handle situations, handle the moment, handle adversity, handle success on the fly. And the one thing about Seve is I feel like he's been through a lot as a young major leaguer; lots of success, some bumps in the road, some stumbles, an injury now this year. Postseason experiences where he's fallen down, where he's come back and dealt.

So I think hopefully all those things equip him well heading into tomorrow. And so far since he's come back from the injury, I feel like he's handled himself really well. We saw in the Minnesota series where he got in about as big a jam as you can get in, and I thought was in complete command of himself and of his emotions and ultimately was able to execute and get out of a huge inning and give us a good outing.

So I feel like he's very equipped to go out there. Whatever the result ends up being, he's in command of the moment.

Q. Is it fair to say that you guys have to be more careful with the Giancarlo decision in terms of replacing him in the roster because you couldn't use him possibly in the World Series. If this was the first round it would be a little bit different, but if you replace him you certainly couldn't.
AARON BOONE: Yeah, I don't know about first round or now. Obviously we understand if we had to replace him then he's down for the rest of the postseason. So it is a sensitive decision, a tough decision. And hopefully we make the best decision. But I don't know if this round changes that at all.

We'll just try and evaluate and try and get as honest as feedback as we can from Giancarlo, which he's on the same page with and feel like we have good communication there, and try to make the best decision for us moving forward.

Q. Before Severino came back you left open the possibility of him possibly having a bullpen role in the postseason. Was there one part -- when you said everything is on the table, was there one thing you guys saw from him those last three starts where you said you were comfortable giving him the ball in Game 3 against Minnesota and then obviously tomorrow? Is there one thing that jumped out at you?
AARON BOONE: I don't know about one thing. First off, I was confident he was healthy from the get-go, from his first start back. I thought he got a little sharper in the next one and the next one. And then I thought he did a really good job of coming back and all that came with that, again, of really staying in his delivery and controlling his emotions.

There was no doubt in my mind that he was sound and ready to go and ready to contribute for us heading into the postseason as a starter. And feel like for all he's been through this year, I feel like he's in a really good place for us right now.

Q. How did CC come out of last night?
AARON BOONE: I haven't talked to him today but good. He said he almost went down running into the mound. You saw us get a laugh probably on the mound.

But came out of it fine last night. I haven't seen or talked to him yet today.

Q. Is Happ in play in Game 3 out of the bullpen or lined up for Game 4 in a longer stretch?
AARON BOONE: That's something we haven't talked about yet. With any of these games I think anything is possible and certainly comes into play. But there's a good chance he's obviously a big part of Game 4.

Q. Your opinion when you're kind of the bullpen games are really unprecedented at this time of year, and especially when you're going up against teams that have deep starting pitching like Houston has, and if you get to the World Series against Washington, Washington certainly has. Is this optimal for you or is this what you do and the best with what you have?
AARON BOONE: Well, I think one thing I've talked about a lot is we have a lot of confidence in our 12 and 13 pitchers. So it may look a little different than some other teams that are a little more traditional, although we can be traditional with obviously running out Masa and James and Seve.

But there's a lot of ways to skin a cat, you know? And the bottom line is so far in the postseason through five games we've pitched really well, including in last night's game where we lost. In the end you've got to get 27 outs. Last night we needed more than 27 outs, and we feel like we have a pitching staff capable of doing that at a high level. I think so far we've shown that and expect us to continue.

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