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


September 30, 2011

Ron Roenicke


Q. Could you tell us who your games 2 and 3 pitchers are tonight?
RON ROENICKE: No, but I'll let you know after the workout today. We just talked about it. We talked about it yesterday. The reason we're holding off is I want to make sure everybody is okay with things, the pitchers, the starters, and we'll see after the workout today and I'll let you know.

Q. Do you know what you're doing at third base?
RON ROENICKE: I know what I'm doing tomorrow and then we'll see the day after. Matchups are coming into play. So we'll look at that and those are tough decisions. I don't want to say now, because I haven't said anything to the players.

Q. Can we get that after the workout?
RON ROENICKE: Probably. Probably.

Q. You're not a novice at postseason because of the Angels experience, you were in a different role. But does that help you prepare for this challenge?
RON ROENICKE: Oh, absolutely. The more times you're in the playoffs, the more you're around the atmosphere, the more that you see what happens to players and what happens to outside influences on those players, the easier it gets. Being in the playoffs so many times with the Angels, a couple of times as a player early, but especially the last seven or eight years, being there a lot makes a lot of difference. And I think it helps what I have to say to them.

Q. How much confidence do you have in Yovani starting tomorrow, given the fact that he's had a little bit of postseason experience and just the run he's been on the last month?
RON ROENICKE: Both those things, the postseason experience he's had and the way he's pitched lately. He's pitched good all year, but the way he's pitched lately has been lights out. I think his confidence coming in has to be really high. And you won't see that, because he's a pretty mellow guy. You'll see that when he comes in after I leave here.
But he is a very confident guy. Nothing seems to rattle him much. But right now he knows he's throwing the ball really well.

Q. How do you help manage the freak-out factor, somebody steps in the box the first time in playoffs and they forget their name? How do you keep guys grounded?
RON ROENICKE: It's always -- it's a good question, because it comes up. It's like that first guy that comes to the big leagues and his first at-bat. It's the same type feeling.
Some of those guys, myself, I had no chance to get a hit my first at-bat in the big leagues. My knees were shaking, it wasn't a good feeling. Some guys come up and hit a home run the first at-bat. I don't get it. I don't get that mentality that you're not nervous the first time you come up.
Playoffs, similar, not maybe as much as that, but they're similar. That's why I want to keep all that outside influence from changing the way that we play. We play hard in Spring Training. We've played hard through the season. This is the same thing. Just playing hard and playing our game. We've been very successful this year in doing that and they have to stay focused, again, on what's going on in that game.

Q. This kind of a classic matchup in the sense that Arizona leads the majors in comebacks. Your bullpen doesn't give up leads. Again, in the larger context of your club the bullpen is an essential part of success?
RON ROENICKE: The bullpen has been huge for us. That's a great bullpen. We've talked about lately, when we go to our bullpen I don't expect a run to be given up. It's not fair, but I've seen it so long that that's what I expect. I know things are going to change sometimes. But they've been great.
Getting through the seventh inning has been great, going to Frankie has been great. I know Arizona, I know they've come back a lot lately. Arizona is a very good team, that's why they are where they are. They're playing right now outstanding. We need to be able to stop that because a lot of times that feeling that they have, that they can't be beat, that carries you a long ways.

Q. As an addition to that comment, their bullpen also has not allowed comebacks. They haven't blown a lead all year after the 8th. So does that mean all the scoring is going to happen in the first half of these games and when you are behind are you in dire straits in this series?
RON ROENICKE: Well, there's a lot of times you manage to what the opposing bullpen is. If they're lights out in the 9th, then you need to go for it in the 7th.
With our bullpen, I think we're lights out really 6, 7, 8, 9, definitely 8, 9, so you manage different. You may sacrifice a bunt in the fifth inning or you may do it, if you've got a closer that's just Mariano Rivera, you know you have to do something in the 8th. You may use all your best pinch-hitters in the 8th, so it changes how you manage.

Q. Did you get a chance after your game on Wednesday to catch all of the drama that unfolded both in the American League and the National League?
RON ROENICKE: I just texted Joe about it, watching it. I think without a doubt the most exciting day in baseball I've ever seen. There's a lot -- there was a lot of fun things going on that day. A lot of drama leading up to it, because everybody knew what was on the line that last day. I think a lot of people expected there to be a playoff that next day.
Certainly what the Rays did coming back from where they were in the 8th, 9th inning, and then winning it, there were some great things happening that last day.

Q. Are you stressed out before the game, especially in the best of five series?
RON ROENICKE: Game 1 is important, that's why we fought so hard to get that home field advantage. I think it's very important. Is it a must? No. But it's very important.
I was with the team in 2002, we lost the first game of every series, and still won the World Series. It's not a must.
It's important to get your guys in the right frame of mind. And it's important sometimes to slow down that opponent and get them with a little doubt in their minds.

Q. With the numbers resetting going into the playoffs, can seeing that big 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, batting average, RBIs, can that help some of your guys that have been scuffling toward the end?
RON ROENICKE: It can help them, if they have a different mindset. It's a fresh start. It's almost a new year for them, because we've finished the regular season. It can really help. I know Casey is looking forward to it.

Q. We talked about the bullpen already. Are some of those decisions you have to make of what to do with your bullpen going into the playoffs some of the tougher ones?
RON ROENICKE: Well, our bullpen is really solid. I don't have too many question marks when we go into series on what we're going to do with that bullpen.
The last spot in the bullpen, again, I'll make that decision, I'll let you guys know after workout today for the bullpen and the last spot for the regular player. But I think that 6th, 7th inning, we've got three guys we know pitching. That's Loe, Hawk, and Saito. Sammy and Hawk usually are full inning. If the matchup is there for right-handers against Kameron, then Kameron will be in that spot.
Our bullpen since we got Frankie in the 8th spot has made my job a lot easier, because we're really -- we're set on what we want to do. With not having any left-handers down there, there's no question marks on, hey, who's going to get the lefty out, because we have right-handers. If it's a bunch of lefties, we usually go to Hawk, because his numbers are so great against lefties. There's really a defined role now that we didn't have the first half.

Q. Because you're fighting over some of your things, does it make it harder to tell the players, to tell the guys who are playing and who aren't playing? The second question is: Kennedy is by far their best pitcher, yours are closer in ability. Does that make it more important to beat them or tougher to beat them?
RON ROENICKE: It's always important to beat their best guy. If you can beat their best guy, you're looking really good in the series you're going to play, especially these short series that we have.

Q. We've kind of seen pitching dominate, obviously last postseason, but just what is the big advantage that having quality starting rotation and bullpen and you throw in Braun as the fielder, and just that lineup you have?
RON ROENICKE: The pitching does win you these series, usually. There's times when a great offense clicks at the right time and you get a bunch of runs. But usually it comes down to the pitching. I think with the pitching that you mentioned we're really solid in the four guys that we're putting out there to start games, really solid when we go middle. And then we've been lights out back in the end in the bullpen.
But they're also -- Tom brought it up, they're also good there. I know Kennedy is their main guy. But they've got some other starters that have given us trouble, as well as the League. So we're not going in there figuring we're going to bash the ball. We're going to try to ground it, grind it out.
Obviously I'd love to see the 3-run homer, obviously that would be great for a couple of our big boys. But we're feeling comfortable coming into this and very confident in what we've accomplished this year.

Q. How much does your experience and your familiarity with Francisco Rodriguez, with the Angels, how much has that helped his transition to being an 8th inning closer?
RON ROENICKE: I think it's helped just because of the conversations we've had. But he still knows in his mind and his heart he's a closer. We're fortunate enough to have two closers in our bullpen which you can't ask for much more than that. But he's a closer. He does this job because he knows it's important. He knows that it's all in the line to win games.
And Frankie, this guy is a winner. He doesn't like going out there with meaningless games. He wants to be out there when it's on the line. He loves going to the playoffs. He's a big-time pitcher in the playoffs. So whatever role we put him in and ask him to do, he's going to do it.

Q. You've been through this postseason many times before. Assuming Arizona is going to be very careful with your stars, and particularly Prince, is there a tendency to be jacked up and maybe want to be a little less patient in terms of taking the walks, or is that something you address with them at all or do they have their approach and you trust them?
RON ROENICKE: I trust that they know what they're going to do. We've talked about it from time to time during the season. That's what makes our two guys really special. They're not two sluggers that come out and just swing at everything. They want to swing at the pitch that they want to hit, not the pitch that the pitcher wants them to hit. That's why their walk totals are up, that's why their on-base percentage is so good.
They haven't really come out too much this season, once in a while they've slid out of it. I've had a couple of conversations about that. They know what they're supposed to do, and they know if they're going to get pitched around, to not expand the zone, go ahead and take the walk, and let another one of our guys drive them in.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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