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October 6, 2021

Alex Cora

St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

Tropicana Field

Boston Red Sox

Workout Day Press Conference

Q. Good afternoon, Alex.

ALEX CORA: What's up?

Q. Do you have a starting pitcher for tomorrow?

ALEX CORA: Eddie for tomorrow.

Q. What went into that decision as opposed to somebody else?

ALEX CORA: He has been throwing the ball well. We think it's a good matchup. Obviously with them you have to mix and match. They're going to look for an advantage and all that. We'll have Nick in the bullpen tomorrow, and we'll do what we do.

As far as roster-wise we're not even close to finalize it, you know? We have to go over a lot of things. Obviously, it was a long night last night, and we just got here, but, you know, that's what they do. They put you in spots to try to maximize their lineup, but we will maximize our pitching staff. So we feel Eddie has been there, done that. So he threw the ball well here before just like others on our pitching staff so, we feel very comfortable with him.

Q. How is, I guess compared to yesterday, how is J.D. feeling?

ALEX CORA: He is doing okay. He is moving around. We'll see what he can do today. The goal is for him to do a few things today physically and, you know, we'll make a decision obviously tomorrow morning.

Q. Alex, will Chris start Game 2, I'm assuming, or is that still to be kind of determined?

ALEX CORA: Yeah, there's a good chance that Chris will start Game 2.

Q. Also, just want to ask you, how much different is it coming here versus a month ago when you were here and you were just dealing with the whole kind of different situation and I'm sure it was a lot more stressful than this is?

ALEX CORA: Yeah, I mean, a month ago we didn't even know who was going to play for us and throughout the series, you know, they took players out of the roster because of where we were. But like I said before, I think those four games put us in a great spot. You know, the first two games, although we lost, those kids that came up, they reset our bullpen. It was pretty taxed after the series at home, and going to Cleveland. And then, you know, we played some kids that nobody expected us to play, and they played good defense up the middle, and we beat them the last two games.

So I know they won the season series, but if you look at the games, you know, it's a 1-0 game with a wild pitch in the ninth inning. There was a sun ball at Fenway when we were up 7-1.

I know they're really good. They have a great team. And coming into the season, a lot of people thought that they were the best team in the Big Leagues, but we feel we have a good team, and we're here. We'll show up. We'll play and see where it takes us. A lot different than a month ago. Way, way different.

Q. Quickly on J.D. Does he have to be available tomorrow for you to put him on the roster, or is it possible you carry him tomorrow knowing he can't play, in hopes that he plays later in the series?

ALEX CORA: You know, we haven't even talked about that one. We are just waiting to see what happens today and then we'll decide what we do.

Q. Also, last night, I know it wasn't a save situation, I'm sure you were treating it as one. Do you see that as Whitlock's role going forward, or was that based on matchups?

ALEX CORA: I mean, we will keep mixing and matching and we'll try to maximize our roster. Yesterday we used Hansel in a situation that we knew he had a chance to face lefties. He did a good job. Whit came in there with some matchups that we felt that were good. Tanner the same thing. We'll keep mixing and matching, and we'll use our starters too in this series. We will. So, you know, let's see where the games take us, and we go from there.

Q. Alex, last time here you had the mound measured. What were your concerns at that time, and do you have any concerns with this series?

ALEX CORA: To be honest with you, I wasn't part of that. I was inside dealing with COVID. I heard about it because somebody tweeted and showed a picture. I think the players were doing that, but honestly, I found out after the fact. So I think MLB is going to measure it, you know, like they always do. They'll measure the bases, like they always do before each game, and everything will be legal.

Q. Alex, we've asked you a lot about Kyle's pickup at the deadline, but what about just what Hansel and Austin Davis have been able to give you in the bullpen and how good they've been? You've obviously used them in very high-leverage situations.

ALEX CORA: In the beginning it was tough because we were struggling, and we had to use Hansel in Detroit. I think twice, right? He got hit pretty hard. He actually got hit pretty hard before he got traded. So, you know, we made some adjustments. And then the Toronto game, that was crazy.

With A.D. it was hard in the beginning. He pitched multiple innings and facing lefties and righties, and until we reset our bullpen, then, you know, they settled down and they have been amazing. I think Hansel, he is striking people out. He is throwing strikes. He is using a great mix of pitches, and with A.D., if you see the numbers against lefties, he has been solid.

When we traded for him, I spoke to my brother about him, and he told me a few things that he felt that he wasn't doing there. Not because they weren't preaching it. Just he wasn't able to execute it at the moment, and then since he got here, he started doing that. He started executing those pitches, and he has been really solid. He has been really good.

Q. Over the years how much have you seen Eduardo mature both as a guy and as a player? And do you guys still butt heads on occasion over --

ALEX CORA: We do a lot. But I'm very proud of him. First thing is first, last year was a very difficult year for him not being able to play because of health issues. And the fact that he will be the starter tomorrow, I know it means a lot to him and his family. You know, his support system has been amazing throughout, and we are very proud of him. I mean, what he has done this season, regardless of the up and downs, he didn't throw the ball extremely well at one point, but he has been very consistent throughout, and he has been making adjustments every start and, you know, he has been getting better and better.

As a person, a more mature person. You know, you see his body. He has a different body compared to a few years ago. The way he goes about his business, his preparation between starts, talking to other pitchers, you know, especially Darwinzon. He has been a mentor for him, and, obviously, we know his situation, right? This is a free agent year, and we'll see where it takes us. We'll get there when we have to get there, but it's a guy that he represents everything that we ask for for a player. You know, just show up, work hard, and do your best out there, and he has done that since I got here. Do we still jab each other? Yeah, of course. That's part of the relationship.

THE MODERATOR: Anything else for Alex?

ALEX CORA: We're good? Okay. Thank you.

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