Jed Hoyer joined 670 The Score’s Spiegel and Parkins Show this morning to discuss all things Chicago Cubs, with particular emphasis on offseason plans. Here are some of the more interesting tidbits, with the whole interview below embedded.
• Hoyer confirmed the coaching changes that have been reported, including today’s news that Brandon Hyde would be promoted to bench coach. He said a more formal coaching staff announcement would follow in the coming weeks.
• When asked about the number of coaching changes and Joe Maddon’s original comments about hoping to keep everyone, Hoyer said “any confusion was born of the timing of that question,” and Maddon not saying what he did could have led to problems in the coaching room.
• Hoyer notes that the Cubs believe Chili Davis can improve their hitting approach, particularly with two strikes, and can help young hitters evolve into more mature players. He talked about Brian Butterfield being renowned as one of the best infield and baserunning coaches in baseball.
• Asked whether there was something in particular responsible for the lack of offense at times in the playoffs, Hoyer did note the list of great pitchers the team had faced. He added that “we felt like we did, as a team, regress a bit in terms of our situational hitting, our ability to use the whole field and drive in runs.” He thought the team did a better job in 2016 of creating runs and moving the ball in the right situations.
• Asked why this offseason was deemed so challenging, Hoyer talked about the ripple effect that deals now would have in the coming years and how the Cubs’ window was more than just 2018, so the team always has to keep that in mind.
• On the topic of trading young MLB talent, Hoyer says that the their job is to do what is best for the Cubs. So while they believe their strength is in their young hitting talent, they always have to listen to potential trades if they can make the overall team better. He also talked about how to balance a player’s recent performance with your overall valuation of a player’s present and future value.
• Hoyer would not offer a comment on Shohei Otani’s connection to the Cubs.
• He called the Jason Heyward rumors “the kind of made-up rumors that happen this time of year.”
• Hoyer said the Cubs will reach out to John Lackey, but for now he was just happy that Lackey was coming back to pitch in 2018.