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March 10, 2006

Manny Acta

Luis Polonia

Willy Taveras


Q. Manny, obviously you guys have a great lineup, but do you have any concerns about the depth of your pitching staff?
COACH MANNY ACTA: Not at all. Actually we're in pretty good shape because we didn't allow anybody other than Bartolo Colon to pitch, to throw 50 pitches or more. So none of those guys have to wait four days before they get on the mound again. All we have to do is talk to some of those organizations and get everything cleared up.
We're in good shape.
Q. Manny, do you have any up date on whether Vladimir Guerrero will join you for the next round?
COACH MANNY ACTA: He's not going to join our team. We had a window up until yesterday and it's just been shot. We support his decision, stand behind him, family comes first. And we're going to have to move on with what we have.
Q. So for the whole tournament then?
Q. Manny, although he's very inexperienced Francisco Liriano's stuff seems to compare favorably to anyone else on the staff. Do you see him playing a larger role in the next round and potentially getting a start?
COACH MANNY ACTA: Yes, there is a possibility, but we're thinking piggybacking a couple of those guys. Because there's no way that the next round he'll be able to start and be stretched out too much because he will only have three days off before the last game against Venezuela.
But definitely he'll have a large role for us. If he's not there, probably over there in San Diego, the kid has shown that he's not intimidated at all. He's got terrific stuff. I think he can go against any lineup in this tournament.
Q. Manny, just wanted to check, is David Ortiz okay? It looked like he got out of the box a little bit slow in the last at-bat, and you had to pinch hit for him.
COACH MANNY ACTA: He's fine. That was the plan for the day to give David a couple of at-bats and Pujols to play six innings. We know that there are a lot of these people who are showing up at these games to see those two guys. But we didn't want to just give him the day off completely. And we gave him those two at-bats and got him out of the game.
Q. Manny, how would you characterize Daniel Cabrera's performance today? And also can you characterize for us what you think his upside is?
COACH MANNY ACTA: I think that was pretty impressive. I only seen him on TV and in winter ball before. And it was pretty impressive that that kid went out there and didn't throw a ball, I believe, below 94 miles per hour. And pretty good slider. Almost 90 miles-per-hour slider, just good command, too, for a guy his age.
I think his upside is tremendous. I think the Orioles have a jewel there. Hopefully he stays away from injuries and stuff. I see him being a potential Cy Young winner in the big leagues.
Q. Question to Luis Polonia, what did it mean to you the fact that you had two hits today? To Manny, a question about Alberto Castillo, that apparently he's going to miss the two first games of the next round because he has to go back to the Dominican Republic and take care of some personal business?
LUIS POLONIA: I am very happy to have had this opportunity. I am very aware that to an old ballplayer like me that not often do we get this kind of opportunity. And after my first at-bat, I felt very well. With the two hits that I hit today, I am getting more confidence, and I think this has been one of the highlights of my career.
COACH MANNY ACTA: Now the Alberto Castillo issue, it's only one day. He has to go for immigration for one day and there is a good possibility even that he'll be able to make it in time for the opening game on Monday I think it is.
So there is a good chance that he'll be able to play on Monday.
Q. Could he play on Sunday?
Q. Manny, what's going to be your pitching rotation? Some pitchers maybe threw more pitches than others, so you may have to make some adjustments.
COACH MANNY ACTA: The only one that is safe for now, or that we're sure for the first day, is going to be Bartolo Colon. For the second or third games, we don't know who is going to pitch yet. Although we did not stretch them a lot, it's also true that they're only going to have three days of rest, so we have to talk it over because we have to check with the major league teams that they play for. So we have to check whether they could pitch with three days' rest.
Q. Could you make a quick balance of this first round to the Dominican Republic, and also what do you think about the first game you're going to have in the second round with Cuba, no, not Cuba, it's against Puerto Rico?
COACH MANNY ACTA: I'm very happy with the performance of the guys here. And everybody had a chance to play. Also, had the opportunity to get some rest to some of the players, this last day. And we were able to do that because we won the two first games.
And also we gave opportunities to some of the pitchers, not only to keep them fresh, but also to keep them sharp. I think that it's been impressive.
The other good thing about it is that in every game we had a different hero, so different people contributed to those three different wins. I hope that Alfonso Soriano and Miguel Tejada wake up for the next round and they contribute more.
Q. Do you contemplate any special training for them to get them out of the slump?
WILLY TAVERAS: Like Manny just said, I hope that they begin delivering, you know, Miguel and Alfonso Soriano, as the team expects.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, gentlemen. Good luck in the next round.

End of FastScripts...

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