Oct. 10 Yost pregame interview

Q.  Ned, how close were you to going with 12 pitchers, and who might that 12th have been?

NED YOST: We weren't close. We were going to stick with 11.

Q. Can you talk about the reasoning behind that?

NED YOST:  We felt that we have enough depth in our bullpen that we could afford to go 11 pitchers and take the extra position player. We've got enough inning depth. Coleman [see correction below] can go 2. Fineman can go 2. We've got guys down there that can pitch some innings.

Q. Same question, would you prefer to play three hours in the rain tonight or prefer to play five days in a row?

NED YOST:  No, I prefer to play in the rain tonight. I just feel that we're ready for this. We've had four days off. The rain doesn't scare us. I'd just as soon play tonight, play today, and have the off day on Sunday.

Q. Are you bothered at all that they haven't announced a Game 2 starter yet?

NED YOST:  Not at all.

Q. Does that affect your preparation at all?

NED YOST:  Not at all.

Q. How much have you watched Ventura just kind of mature over this past year, and what he did against the Angels last week, is that what you have come to expect of him?

NED YOST:  Yeah, that's what we've come to expect of him. It's been funny because there hasn't been a whole lot of maturing with him. He's been almost like that from the first day of the season on. He's a very confident young man. His composure is tremendous when he steps on the mound.

At times he gets a little ramped up with his stuff, and he's learned how to control that a little bit. And by that I mean he'll waste pitches at times trying to throw too hard, but then always gathers it back in. And those are pitches that he's going to need as he moves further along to get him through the 7th and through the 8th inning. But I think he's just done a tremendous job all year long.

Q. With the bullpen in general, Ned, how would you view the possibility of bringing Herrera earlier and just in general stretching that bullpen earlier in the ballgame?

NED YOST:  We've been doing it for the past couple of weeks. It's something we'll definitely do. Those guys are so special down there. You've got to make sure that you don't burn them out or that you don't overuse them. But it's definitely part of our plan if we need it.

Q. Do Tillman's excellent numbers against stolen bases change anything the Royals do or do you just do your normal game?

NED YOST:  No, we do our normal game. But our normal game is we don't just get on base and take off. We do a tremendous amount of studying the opposition. We look for keys on pickoff moves and deliveries to home plate on each one of their pitchers. We study the percentages in pitches, when is a high percentage time to go.

Tillman's tough. They've attempted four bases on him all year long. Like Ventura, they attempted twice on him all year long.

But we pick our spots, and try to be real successful when we do it. Most of the time we are.

Q. Defensively these two teams are considered two of the best in the American League. But obviously the Orioles are without Wieters and Machado now. Is there a discernible difference between the two teams defensively?

NED YOST:  They're both extremely strong defensive teams. Machado, that hurts them a little bit. This kid is the best third baseman in the American League, as far as I'm concerned. Defensively he was tremendous. So that helps us a little bit.

But their defense is strong. Their pitching is strong. It's a tough team.

Q. Given everything Moustakas has gone through as a hitter over the last few years, can you talk about the process by which you've stuck with him and instilled confidence in him and make sure he knows he was your guy at third base, rather than looking in another direction?

NED YOST:  Well, he was a guy that if you watch him come up through the Minor Leagues, you could tell right off the bat that he had special talents and abilities. Led the Minor Leagues in home runs one year.

And when he got to the big leagues he holds himself to a pretty high standard. And sometimes that hurts him a little bit.

But we just always felt that the combination of his defense and power was a very, very good combination that would one day help us win a championship. And times when he was struggling, the thing that he did so well is he didn't let it play over to his defense. He always played a very solid defensive game, even when he was struggling at his worst. And you always knew that he would be a threat offensively, that he could step up and hit the ball out of the ballpark.

But he's a guy that we continued to stay with because we believed in him and now that's paying off for us.

Q. As far as Duffy, Vargas, Guthrie, who, if any, will be out of the bullpen and available tonight?

NED YOST:  Just about all three of them, really. We'll just kind of play it by ear. Again, the weather might play into it, where we might need a long guy or maybe two, I don't think so. But all three of them will be available out there in case we need them.

Q. First just a quick clarification. I think you said Coleman is a guy you had stretched out for two innings?

NED YOST:  I said "Collins."

Q. I misheard you.

NED YOST:  I might have said "Coleman," I don't know, but my mind said "Collins."

Q. I know this trade was made before you took over as manager, the trade bringing in Lorenzo Cain.

NED YOST:  No, I was managing.

Q. I was mixed up. Can you describe how that trade kind of created an identity for you guys. It seems like athleticism and defense, you got two real critical spots there.

NED YOST:  That was a start of this organization when Greinke wanted to move on. Milwaukee was on his no‑trade list. But Zack came back and said, Look, I'll consider that.

And I started looking at all those players I had over there. When I was over there I fell in love with Escobar and Lorenzo Cain. And both of those kids were like in A ball when I first got there, but I would bring them over and let them play in Spring Training games, because they were so fun to watch because of their athleticism.

Dayton was real focused at that time on getting the most athletic players he could, and building around athletic players. Salvy is very athletic. Escobar, Cain, up the middle, when we made that trade, we knew how athletic those two players were.

We were trying to add an element of speed, an element of athleticism to our club and when he made that trade, both of those kids struggled a little bit, like all guys do when they first get settled in, but it's been a great trade for us. We took Odorizzi and turned him around for Shields and Wade Davis. So that trade was the start of all of our success, I believe.