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October 9, 2021

Kevin Cash

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Fenway Park

Tampa Bay Rays

Workout Day Press Conference

Q. Two questions: One, could you first say why you chose to go with Rasmussen tomorrow, and is the bullpen day still the option for 4? And is there any update on Wisler's status?

KEVIN CASH: Let's go Wisler first. No real update. It's been an injury he's been dealing with for six to seven weeks now. Felt it, but not going to go any deeper than that. He's here getting a workout in, and we'll take it day to day.

As far as Ras, I believe that was our plan all along. We wanted to just kind of cover ourselves in case something went haywire in 1 and 2. McClanahan, really his outing allowed us not to need him coming out of the bullpen in games 1 or 2. And Wach, for what it's worth, picked us up for some innings, avoiding pitchers.

Excited to see Ras go and do his thing. He's been really good for us since he's transitioned into the rotation.

Q. Kevin, with Wisler, is this something that flared up during his outing last night, with the finger coming into play again?

KEVIN CASH: It's just an issue that he's going to have. He's been managing. We're going to sit and talk to him and see how he can manage it. I think it's good that he's coming today, play catch, and then we'll go from there. We'll probably sit down tomorrow and see where we're at.

Q. With Rasmussen, you guys saw him pitch in some pretty high-pressure environments, here, Toronto, Houston. How much will that help prepare him for tomorrow?

KEVIN CASH: I hope it helped. With Ras, the way he's shown his composure throughout all of those and doing that in Fenway Park, in Toronto, that was kind of the thought process on having him pitch in the first road game, maybe to help Shane and Shane a little bit.

So totally comfortable with him coming in here and trying to quiet a good offense down.

Q. Nate Eovaldi is a guy you managed for a brief bit and have honestly faced him a lot the last couple years. What do you think about him has made him so good? Especially in October he really seems to rise to the moment this time of year.

KEVIN CASH: Yeah, he definitely does. Happy for Nate. What a great person, great teammate, all of that we experienced. I'm sure the Red Sox have experienced the last three or four years now as well.

Look, he's a power pitcher. I think he's evolved here over the last couple seasons being able to use the cutter, the curveball, the split a little bit more. He's learned about himself, but the adjustments that he makes from start to start, it was talked about from the adjustments he made from the Yankee game during the regular season to the Wild-Card game.

I would anticipate that he's going to have his own adjustments that he is going to want to use against us. Saying that, he's pitched well against us this year.

Q. Kevin, you've seen a lot of guys hit really well in this ballpark for different reasons. Brandon's got some great numbers here. He does find the wall a little comforting. Is that a logical thing given his swing and his hitting style?

KEVIN CASH: Yeah, I guess. He pulls a lot of baseballs, and it's a deep right center, but if that wall gets him locked in knowing that there's an ability to hit it off the wall and it makes it more available for him to feel comfortable at the plate, so be it.

We've had, very similar to the game that was played Game 2 at the Trop, we've had a lot of those ballgames here, kind of the back and forth, high scoring on both clubs.

Q. You have seen Xander Bogaerts for many years now.

KEVIN CASH: I'm tired of seeing him.

Q. First of all, I guess the home run that he hit on 98 on the inner edge, what's your view on being able to get to a pitch like that?

KEVIN CASH: He's very talented, just a special player, superstar. You look at the Red Sox teams from the past, and there are many names. I think Xander kind of blended with -- he was a young guy, and now he's taken over.

You know where he's hitting in the lineup. He never seems to get out of the moment. He stays in it so well. Just a really, really good player.

Him turning on a 98 in doesn't surprise us at all. We've seen him do it here plenty of times. Maybe it's a little more available at this ballpark, knowing that he doesn't have to quite get it as much, just get it up in the air, there's going to be a homer or double coming with it. But his career's been fun to watch.

Q. I would think that, if you polled fans across the country, very, very few could name your hitting coach, but based on what your team has done consistently hitting, maybe just talk about how much of an impact he's had.

KEVIN CASH: We could certainly name him, and if that's right -- I hope that's not right because Chad Mottola has -- since he has come here, he has built relationships as well as any coach on our staff.

Our pitching department gets a lot of credit, and it should, but what he's done, how he's been able to individualize plans for each player and the work that he puts in, you've got to give credit where credit is due. Him, along with Ozzie Timmons, have been very special for us.

Watching how the players respond, the messages leading into a series, before a game, but also the messages that are going in from pitching changes and the little subtle things that are given as Randy's walking up to the plate or Wander's walking up to the plate. There's a lot of in-game conversation that many are not privy to, but Chad has a really good pulse on all of those.

Q. You've obviously known Alex Cora for many, many years. What is it like to manage against him in a series? I'm sure you've been asked this before, but could you ever -- as teammate in '07, could you ever have seen this type of a scenario as it has come about?

KEVIN CASH: No, not in 2007. Not surprised by Alex, Alex's success whatsoever, just very baseball smart, savvy, great with people. His team loves him. The city loves him. Got to see that firsthand as a teammate.

But to envision in 2007 that -- well, I couldn't envision that I would be doing this. Maybe Alex could. Managing against him, a lot of respect how this entire organization goes about doing things and certainly him, but when the game starts, you want to try to find a way to win, and it turns into competition.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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