Jed Hoyer Speaks: Darvish's Start, Teams Getting Chippy with the Cubs, Edwards, Chatwood, More

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Jed Hoyer Speaks: Darvish’s Start, Teams Getting Chippy with the Cubs, Edwards, Chatwood, More

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs have a lot going on right now with one of their top starters (Yu Darvish) and relievers (Carl Edwards Jr.) both on the disabled list, a tight race in the NL Central, and the draft coming up shortly. But fortunately, we’re not totally in the dark on any of those fronts, because the Cubs General Manager,Jed Hoyer, jumped on 670 The Score this morning to discuss all of that and more.

Below, you can find his thoughts, alongside some commentary of my own.

  • On the Yu Darvish thinks Cubs fans dislike him story, Jed Hoyer is not particularly concerned. In fact, according to him, what Darvish is feeling is perfectly natural and normal and happens to a lot of guys who sign big contracts or become a part of big-time trades. Living up to expectations is very difficult, and Hoyer seems to believe that this entire story is just a case of the media getting a whiff of the sort of emotions/feelings that are otherwise quite common. With that said, he still believes it’s the job of the front office to help smooth that transition with continued coaching and words of re-assurance/support. Ultimately, though, Hoyer knows that only quality performance will help ease his mind.
  • Sticking with Darvish, Hoyer reiterated that the Cubs were pleased with the results of the MRI and added that they’re hoping this process can be quick. Like we’ve heard before, this was apparently not something that just crept up on them and the entire disabled list stint was indeed about being as safe as possible because it’s still early (both in the season and into his contract, I have to interpret). Of course, the Cubs are still planning on taking things very, very slowly, because they not only want him to be healthy, but to also be 100% capable of pitching up to his abilities (which would help with those pesky living up to expectations concerns, too (one problem at a time, I suppose)). Hoyer concluded by saying that every player feels and experiences pain differently, and the Cubs take them at their word. So from the sound of it, Darvish will return (more or less) when he feels he’s ready.
  • The same goes for Carl Edwards Jr., who just hit the disabled list with shoulder discomfort. Edwards is apparently disappointed with the injury (who wouldn’t be?), but the Cubs sound happy to take things especially slow with him. “It’s [only] May,” Hoyer said, before adding that they’re going to allow the inflammation to settle down before they ramp him back up. Given how good and important Edwards is (and given his prior injury issues (and given the other quality bullpen arms)), the Cubs are likely going to be very cautious with him.
  • On Joe Maddon’s steadfast support of the legality of Anthony Rizzo’s slide (my god, it’s never ending), Hoyer just has this to say: “You don’t get any points for defiance.” In other words, Maddon shouldn’t be teaching his guys that it’s okay to slide like that, because if it’s against the rules, being “right” (however you define that) won’t help you put runs on the board. Agreed. As for the confusion with the rule, Hoyer believes that as more future players *and* umpires get brought up through the system with these rules in place, everything will work more smoothly. And to round it all out, he made it very clear that he did not think Rizzo’s slide was in any way dirty, even though it was definitely illegal: “It wasn’t a dirty play. To me, it wasn’t a dirty play. That’s the part I didn’t understand …. there was nothing dirty about that slide.” Agreed.
  • On the Cubs experiencing a little more chippy-ness from other teams this year, Hoyer doesn’t mind it. “I think it’s fine. It’s natural, it’s sorta what happens.” He knows that after winning the World Series in 2016 and the division in 2017, teams were going to have it out for the Cubs. And now, no one takes them for granted or phones it in at Wrigley Field. So to that end, the chippy-ness from other teams helps keep the Cubs honest and alert at all times. “We’re not going to sneak up anyone. They’re going to come after us every night,” so if the chippy-ness reminds them of that, it’s a good thing.
  • I’ll add that fans and reporters/announcers of other teams seem to be feeling the same animosity towards the Cubs this season, and I kinda love it. It’s something we discussed on Twitter earlier today but if the Cubs become the villains, I’m cool with it.
  • On the draft, the Cubs GM seemed to suggest a different strategy this season than years past. Because there’s not one area/position of tremendous depth and because they’ve done their time focussing on hitters (early in the rebuild) and pitchers (the past couple seasons), they’re “really not targeting any one area [position]” in 2018. With that said, Hoyer claims that “this is a really big draft,” for the Cubs because of the extra picks they have for losing Jake Arrieta and Wade Davis and they really don’t want to blow it.
  • And finally, on Tyler Chatwood, Hoyer seems very confident that he’ll be ale to turn things around, particularly because this is a new problem for Chatwood (i.e. not some long-term issue that’s been plaguing him throughout his career). “We know this isn’t who he is as a pitcher” Hoyer said to 670 The Score, before adding that he’s been working really hard with pitching coach Jim Hickey. Specifically, the duo has been working on simplifying the “complicated, complex hand motion” in his delivery. I believe the exact phrasing was “taking away some of the variables.” Hoyer knows it won’t be an overnight fix, but seemed genuinely confident that he could make it work. Given the absence of Darvish, that would be a very welcome change.

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami