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


December 5, 2023

Kevin Cash

Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Tampa Bay Rays

Press Conference

Q. You probably are kind of used to this now, but are you just waiting the to see what the front office does and the team, how much different it might look or could look?

KEVIN CASH: A little bit. Yeah, a lot of trust with Erik, our group, that they're going to do everything they can with their efforts and work really hard to make sure that we have another good team. We had a really good team last year.

Q. (Off microphone.)

KEVIN CASH: Look, we felt the rotation when those guys got hurt. It took a toll us on. That allowed some other people to really step up for us, and they did.

We went out and acquired Aaron Civale. He did a nice job for us. He was a rock star all season long. Taj really came on. I think we're going to see a much -- I can't say better because he did a pretty good job, but much more comfortable version of Taj round two.

Then with Shane Baz coming back and being in full health should help. We'll have something to look forward to at some point during the season between Ras and Springs.

Q. On the bullpen (indiscernible), you've lost a number. How do you feel bullpen-wise?

KEVIN CASH: It's still early, but I feel like building out a bullpen has been a pretty -- Erik and his group have been very strong in that regard.

We've got plenty of options between Jason Adam and Pete Fairbanks that have been there done that late innings, and then I think you work from there. We like the groups that are coming in. I'm sure there will be more discussions as the offseason unfolds.

Q. Do you feel you have any matchups with the Chicago Cubs? Have you had any discussions with them?

KEVIN CASH: If I had -- no. Over what?

Q. Just as far as team itself, any matchups that you feel are --

KEVIN CASH: Oh, trades. I'm sorry. Look, I'm the last person to ask in that regard. Totally trust our front office. Erik does a good job of listening to everybody. He's going to continue to listen and then he'll make those decisions.

Q. You mentioned the trust that you have in the front office. You guys have been competitive for a long time now. Is that just part of something that you got here, you just get more comfortable with and realizing you'll figure something out?

KEVIN CASH: A little bit, but I also think when I got here, you look at -- when a new manager comes in... you and I have talked about this... generally there's something that went really sideways. I was fortunate enough that the structure was really in place.

Andrew and Joe had left, but there were a lot of really good people working. The roster, the farm system were all in good spots. They've only continued to get better.

Q. Does catcher stand out as an area of need, but what did you see from Pinto last season once he got the opportunity?

KEVIN CASH: He did a tremendous job defensively for us. He showed spurts of being a similar offensive player that we saw in Durham. With more at-bats, he's only going to get better. Pitchers really enjoy throwing to him. They really have complimented him, whether it was through me or to Kyle.

That's saying a lot about a young catcher that doesn't have those relationships. So I think Pinto is going to get a lot of reps. That's our thought.

A guy like Alex Jackson, he made some really strong impressions, and we'll see where that goes with him.

Q. After the year that he had, how can Yandy Diaz get any better?

KEVIN CASH: Does he need to get better? I won't tell him that, but sign me up if he can go do what he just did again. He was everything to our lineup. Tone setter, power hitter, get on base.

Just watching him day in and day out, it was a really remarkable season, and that's the reason why he got some MVP votes.

Q. You mentioned Ras and Springs. Rough timetable?

KEVIN CASH: I don't have one quite yet. I know that their rehab is going well. Springs is here in St. Pete and throwing and seen him a couple of times. He seems to be in good spirits.

When the mood changes from rehab players, it's a good sign because when they go down, it takes weeks, months where they're really dragging and rightfully so. When you start to see the life come back, and the way he is bebopping in the clubhouse and the training right now, it's a good sign for us.

Q. The AL East has always been a challenging division, but now that the Orioles have kind of emerged out of the rebuild, and all five teams are competing, how much more difficult does that make it moving forward?

KEVIN CASH: I mean, it makes it a lot more difficult. Baltimore, look, they were the best team in the division. You don't think they're going anywhere because of what you just said, the youth that they've built up, and they had a taste of success.

It is a difficult division. I still will say that I like the more even-slated schedule where we're not playing 19 times. I think, what are we, 13, 14, whatever it is. We'll take that.

Q. Walls, is there any update on his status?

KEVIN CASH: He's doing good. I think our plan is to have him come to the Trop and stay in St. Pete right after the first of the year, so we can really be hands-on with his rehab.

Shoulders and elbows, there's a lot of reps in those. Hips, it's a little unique. Not that it hasn't happened, but to be able to have Joe Benge on our training staff daily with Wallsy, I think will be a benefit, and he is pretty committed to wanting to be down here.

Q. You think it will be close to be being ready for the start?

KEVIN CASH: I do. It's still a little early to tell, but he's done really, really well so far.

Q. You've done a lot of these. You've been here so many years now. Is there a question you wish you were asked more?

KEVIN CASH: How did it feel to been a World Series? (Laughing).

Q. Along hose lines, I know after the season we did the post press conference two, three days after you lost. It was frustrating. Nobody really had any answers. Looking back --

KEVIN CASH: That's Jason's fault. That's a bad idea to do it two days after getting your butt kicked.

Q. Any further thoughts on the difference of being a really good team in the regular season and going out as you did kind of quietly?

KEVIN CASH: I think it's a very fair question. I don't know if I have different thoughts on it. I felt like we were the best team in, what was it, '21 in the AL East. Boston put it to us.

I don't know what the answer is, but I think the more times -- I do agree. The more times we can get there, good things are going to happen. In the moment it is very frustrating.

Q. With the question mark about Walls, was having Cabinero and Mead get that time at the beginning. Does that give you more optimism that if Taylor is not ready, with everything that's going on at the shortstop position you still feel like you've got adequate enough coverage?

KEVIN CASH: Yeah, I think so. They got that time because they earned it. Half they earned it and half we needed them.

Any time a young player can get up and contribute and go down to that September stretch where every game means -- is magnified, you have to think they're going to be better for it.

I met with Curtis shortly after the season. I think he is headed back to Australia now, but that is one hungry, motivated player. You hope that's kind of infectious throughout all of our young players because Curtis is driven to be really, really good, and he is going to do everything we can.

As far as Junior, I believe he was the first pick in the Dominican draft. He's put together -- at his age he's doing a little better than holding his own. A lot of excitement around him.

Q. Do you feel like you've (indiscernible)?

KEVIN CASH: No, it actually doesn't. I enjoy my job. I enjoy doing it. Now, if you ask me that in August, you might get a different answer, but at this point we've had enough time to freshen up, so it's a pretty tremendous job.

Q. You guys have been in the playoffs five straight years. Red Sox have never done that in ten years. The whole concept of sustainability, right?


Q. What's the secret sauce? If you had to boil it down to one thing -- if you were going to say it begins with this?

KEVIN CASH: Well, the Red Sox have '04, '07, '13, and '18. I'll trade one of those for five years. What is the secret sauce? The simple answer is having good players, but I know it's deeper than that.

Organizationally I think you watch our farm system, our teams, they all win. And as much success as we've had at the Big League level, you look back, and there are so many first place teams. I don't know if that's by design. You start the season wanting to win, but all of our players have been infected by getting greedy and wanting to win a lot of games. Now, we just have to get that to transition a little bit more in the postseason.

Q. I have a question about Javy Guerra. I hear he is going to Japan. Could you describe about his pitching style and what's his strong points?

KEVIN CASH: With Javy he contributed over the last two years for us. Big, big power fastball. Sinker and four-seamer. I still think there's more development there with him, but when he's right and gets the ball over the plate, it's a pretty nasty repertoire.

I think that will be good for Javy and wish him a lot of success.

Q. You mentioned starters before. Maybe you need a little depth as well, Triple-A, up and down?

KEVIN CASH: Yes. It seems like every year we're talking about needing depth. Unfortunately for us, we have had a lot of depth. This will be another year given the guys between Mac, Ras, Springs not being able to be with us right at the get-go. Shane Baz is in a good spot right now, but he hasn't pitched in a year and a half.

So I know Erik is continuing to work on whether it's immediate starters for our club or people that we are confident can contribute throughout the course of the summer.

Q. Then Tyler Alexander, reliever, multi-inning guy?

KEVIN CASH: I think there's some thought to see what he can do in a little bit of a stretched-out role. Look, I know what Kyle does in spring. He's done a lot with many guys. He kind of gets to that three-inning mark in Spring Training. You see where the stuff is. If it's staying where it needs to be, you look to tack on another inning. If it's not, then maybe you pull back.

But we do like him. He certainly is a guy that we think is going to contribute in many different ways to our club.

Q. It wasn't Ras and Littell; right?

KEVIN CASH: I don't know where we'd be without Zack Littell and, I mean, Ras two years before that. But Zack Littell and what he provided, and to be able to pencil him in as a starter, his workload, the body of work that he carried, he should be pretty full go. He's a big guy that can handle a good workload.

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