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AL DIVISION SERIES: TIGERS v ATHLETICS


October 3, 2013


Bob Melvin


OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA: Workout Day

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions for Bob Melvin.

Q.テつ Bob, could you, for us who haven't been here, go into your thinking on how you arranged your rotation, particularly with Gray in the No. 2 slot and Parker in the No. 3?
BOB MELVIN:テつ We like all of them, and they're all going to pitch at some point in time anyway.テつ Jarrod had the experience of pitching in Game 1 there last year, so we're comfortable with that.テつ You would prefer to pitch Sonny in a home game to start, even though he has the stuff to pitch there, and Bartolo was an easy one leading off.テつ So there wasn't too much thought into it more than that.

Q.テつ What is the word with Yoenis Cespedes today and did he do some throwing today?
BOB MELVIN:テつ He did, there is a good chance you will see him in left field tomorrow, but we will have to wait and see when he gets here tomorrow.

Q.テつ Josh said he studied Cabrera in the off‑season.テつ Do you see any elements he could have picked up from Cabrera?
BOB MELVIN:テつ Are you talking about hitting‑wise?

Q.テつ Yeah.
BOB MELVIN:テつ He's a unique hitter, but I think anytime you try to study the attributes of the best, certainly it's not going to hurt you.テつ Fundamentally he's as sound as you get.テつ He hits the ball both ways and uses the power to all fields.テつ So if there anybody that you're going to take a look at and try to get yourself better, that's probably about as good as you can get.

Q.テつ Jim told us that Peralta is on the roster, but not starting the game.テつ How could that affect any of your decisions when you're thinking about bringing in one of your left‑handed relievers and he's sitting there available?
BOB MELVIN:テつ Like any of ours, there would be a chance that you would see him in a certain situation.テつ Based on the fact that he hasn't been in this role before and he's been used to playing shortstop every day, there is some uncertainty of how we would use him and for who.テつ But there is a chance you will see some pinch‑hitters for us, too.

Q.テつ Bob, you get to open up the series this year.テつ Any edge for you to open at home?
BOB MELVIN:テつ It's nice to open at home, last year we had the home field advantage, but didn't open at home, a little out of the ordinary.テつ So we're excited to be able to play on a Friday night in front of our fans with a few more people in the stands.テつ And we know this is being a pretty loud place.
So other than getting the first game, I don't think after that there is anything that we're looking at dynamically about how the series potentially changes.テつ There are two good teams, both have the utmost respect for each other, certainly we do for them, not only Jim Leyland, but their whole team, and feels like we've seen them quite a bit since last year up to this point.

Q.テつ Can you tell us what you were able to glean from the series last year in Detroit?テつ Basically you were one bad inning away from a sweep.
BOB MELVIN:テつ Anytime you have that quality of a series against a team, you try to take some confidence from it.テつ We faced four really good starters and we did really well against them.テつ Doesn't mean it's going to happen that way, but it wasn't too long ago, and we still remember the series, and it was a bit of a spring board for us.テつ Offensively in the second half, our numbers picked up.
So we remember the series but, again, it's not like you expect to score 10 runs a game against the quality starters that they have.テつ They're as good as you get.

Q.テつ Bob, can you give us a 60‑second version of how you use the platoon system, how you go about setting up the day‑to‑day lineup.
BOB MELVIN:テつ Well, I don't want to give away our secrets here, either.テつ We have a diverse roster that we'll handle accordingly over the course of a game.テつ Whether it's a left‑handed starter in our end game moves or a right‑hander and our end game moves.テつ Our guys know just because they don't start, that potentially they could have the most important at‑bat of the game.
So our guys are always aware and always prepared to come in in the particular role that we deem necessary at the time for them.テつ You see the amount of number of pinch‑hits that we have.テつ The numbers as a whole don't jump off the page, but if you add the walks in, it's better than the numbers would suggest.テつ We've been better about it lately, but we're not afraid to make some end‑game moves and the roster was set up that way.
From Spring Training, on Billy did a great job in allowing us to have the best particular lineup on a particular day.

Q.テつ What has Jed Lowrie done for you being full‑time in the lineup, getting 600 at‑bats?
BOB MELVIN:テつ It was a little bit of an unknown how many games we would get out of him based on the past, but he's been very durable for us.テつ You get that switch‑hitting dynamic, he's good from both sides of the plate, he's been consistent all year offensively and settled in defense actively once he started playing shortstop every day.
It's tough to move around a little bit, which he was open to do, but he's more locked into the position at shortstop.テつ And hitting in the middle of the lineup, he's been a real force for us.

Q.テつ Have you made any decisions on how you will handle Soggard and Callaspo?
BOB MELVIN:テつ I have, at least for Game 1.テつ Soggie will start tomorrow.テつ But the thing about Kyle is, even though he doesn't start a game, you know you can put it him in a match and it doesn't have to happen in a second base position.
He's been impactful for us.テつ Really as a teammate, he gets along very well here, settled in very nicely, he was a great pick‑up for us.

Q.テつ Bob, the experience makes so much difference in a series like this.テつ Talk about having Coco Crisp, especially when he's hitting with power.
BOB MELVIN:テつ I think everybody feeds off of Coco here, not necessarily just experience, just how good he is.テつ I've said often when we're playing well, he's playing well.
He sets the tone for us, and you've seen he's taken his game to a whole new level this year as far as the power dynamic goes, but still has the ability to steal bases.テつ He's got quite the awareness in game when he needs to run and when he doesn't, and since we've been swinging the bat better, he's been a little less apt to run because he doesn't want to run into an out.
He knows that we've been better offensively.テつ In playoff series, you're going to see some better pitching.テつ You might have to manufacturer runs different, and his speed could be a big factor in this series.

Q.テつ Bob, you balance a couple of factors that come into a pinch‑hitting decision, and obviously there are the pitchers, and how your guys have been hitting the ball over the last couple of weeks.テつ How do you balance that?
BOB MELVIN:テつ Sometimes that's the challenge.テつ We have a formula that we stick with, but you can alter that based on the type of game a guy is having.テつ We don't do that too often and all, whether you get a reverse split guy as a pitcher, some of the left‑handers guys will have a higher average off of them and maybe you're less apt to pinch‑hit there.
But we stick with our plan and try to get our best match‑up each and every time we do it.

Q.テつ Bob, how has Sonny evolved coming up from the minors and pitching 10 starts for you guys?
BOB MELVIN:テつ I haven't seen any evolution at all.テつ He's gotten here and been good.テつ I think the right thing to do earlier in the season was bring him up and get a taste of the big leagues.テつ We used him in a relief role and he did well, so then he goes back down and gets in a starting role.テつ And he's been good since we brought him up in the starting role, and he mixes it up.テつ He has a great breaking ball that moves on top of a fastball and it moves every which way.
And the fact that he played in big‑time games in college, you can see he's a competitor.テつ He gets better as the game goes along.テつ A lot of things that play into a year out of college bringing them to the big leagues and expecting them to perform in a role like this, his competitiveness plays into that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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