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October 4, 2013

John Farrell


Q.  Can you talk about the roster decisions, specifically Felix Doubront being on.
JOHN FARRELL:  His ability to pitch multiple innings for us, if we get into a situation where there's a rain stoppage, extra innings.  Also recognizing the year of contribution that he made for us.  It came down basically to the ability to go long.

Q.  Can you talk your lineup.  About any major decisions with the lineup?
JOHN FARRELL:¬† No, I think this is a lineup that we've used on a number of occasions against left‑handed starters.¬† It obviously gives us the balance, right and left‑handed throughout.¬† So this is pretty consistent with what we've used in the past.

Q.  Tomorrow, looking ahead, can you talk about John's season, and how much did you work to get where he is having a good season?
JOHN FARRELL:¬† You know, I think when people look at John Lackey the way he's performed this year, you can't not acknowledge the work that he put in the off‑season.¬† Coming back from Tommy John, that rehab is pretty straight forward, but the commitment that he made to reshape his body, to put himself where he is physically, to me that's correlated to the consistency that he's been in our rotation.¬† The reshaping of the body has allowed him to command the baseball, just because he's been able to repeat his delivery more consistently.¬† And he's been probably one of our top two starters in terms of consistency, start to finish.

Q.  Obviously with Doubront, as you said, having the ability to pitch the long role, can you talk about Ryan Dempster being in the bullpen and where he fits in?
JOHN FARRELL:  With Felix being, I don't want to just pigeonhole him into being the long guy, but his ability to go long or deeper in terms of a pitch count opens up some flexibility for Dempster.  We don't have to hold him back or use his exclusively as an early guy.  If we feel like there's a matchup that's in our advantage, whether it's middle innings, late in the game, he's a possibility in this spot.  Felix's presence on the roster, gives more flexibility to Ryan's usage.

Q.¬† When you guys targeted the free agents to come in this year, specifically Victorino, Gomes, those types, were you lucky like they gelled like they did together, chemistry‑wise or talent‑wise, or do you think you can pick guys like that and have this kind of transformation?
JOHN FARRELL:  We sought the most talented players first and foremost for our needs.  We didn't say, go and find a bunch of good guys and bring them in and lose 95 games.  We felt the talent was important but their reputation as quality teammates, and buying into a team concept, which is what has happened here.  I think the way we've gone about this, not just looking at the talents and the number of wins compiled, but the way we've been able to do it, that is 25 guys buying into a team concept, and yet give them the flexibility to be individuals inside that framework.  Things have gelled very well.

Q.  What specific challenges does David Price present?  Did you watch any or most of that game he pitched the other night?
JOHN FARRELL:¬† Yes, I watched the game he pitched in Texas.¬† He presents a tall challenge, for sure.¬† He's pitched so well for so long.¬† I don't know if he can pitch any better than he did back in July here, where he was flat out dominant against us.¬† He followed it up in that same series with a ‑‑ we talk about a rain‑delayed situation, where it might have been different after a lengthy rain delay, in which he came out to start the 8th inning that night.¬† He's a damn good pitcher, a talented one, and he's not the only one.
We feel if both sides, and in particular when we look at our starters and pitchers, if we pitch to our capability, this should be a close played series.

Q.  What's your impression of Wil Myers as a rookie, stepping in like he has?
JOHN FARRELL:¬† Hasn't been in awe of the environment.¬† When he first came in here, I think he made his debut in Fenway, a guy that looks to be confident in his abilities, aggressive, very good bat‑to‑ball ability.¬† And he really gave them a boost, particularly when you look at now their production from the right side of the plate.¬† He's really balanced out their lineup.¬† Delmon Young obviously, they've been able to capitalize on that situation as well, but Wil Myers, a very young, really good‑looking, talented player.

Q.  Anything different you've seen out of the Rays' pitchers that you're going to face that you've seen since you faced them last?
JOHN FARRELL:¬† No.¬† You know, their strong points have always been fastball command.¬† They seemingly have a very good change‑up.¬† They pitch to their strengths and they don't beat themselves, by the number of walks that they issue.¬† They challenge the strike zone.¬† And I think that's where 19 games, just in this year, gives us that familiarity, and I'm sure they can say the same on our side.
But they might be the model when it comes to drafting, developing, starting pitching, and they've done a great job at it.

Q.  How helpful is it that your lineup is so familiar with Price?
JOHN FARRELL:  It's going to come down to how consistent he or Matt today executes.  Familiarity is one thing, but it's going to come down to the consistency they execute, and the same for Lester, Lackey and Buck and Peavy.  That's not going to change.  You can't go out there and hide.

Q.  Just real quick, after four days of workouts, can you talk about the mood in the clubhouse right now.  Is there a feeling with this team getting ready?
JOHN FARRELL:  Our guys are chomping at the bit, and that's to be expected.  Regardless if you had four days off or a day off, we're in October.  Everybody that has gotten to this point has worked long and hard to have the right to play in this month and we're very much looking forward to it.  We've had three days to build to today and beyond.  So I don't think the downtime is a negative or detriment.  We knew Friday was going to get here and we've worked and built to this moment.

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