Jed Hoyer Speaks: Want a Chance to Get Hot, Kimbrel/Kintzler, Schwarber's Offense, Maddon, Pressure, More

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Jed Hoyer Speaks: Want a Chance to Get Hot, Kimbrel/Kintzler, Schwarber’s Offense, Maddon, Pressure, More

Chicago Cubs

Well, the Cubs have an enormous four-game series at Wrigley Field against the Cardinals this weekend … and they also have a 3.0-game deficit in the division. Things are tight and (with the way the Brewers have been playing) getting tighter.

It is with that backdrop in mind that I relay to you the thoughts and answers from Cubs GM Jed Hoyer, who jumped on 670 The Score today. I did my best to faithfully paraphrase his quotes in real-time, but we’ll link the full interview as soon as it’s made available later this afternoon. I’s, me’s, we’s, etc. are from Hoyer, with some brackets where helpful to provide context.

  • You make the playoffs in baseball, and anything can happen. That’s what at stake. We want a chance to be that team that gets hot in October …. we want the opportunity to get hot [and burn through the postseason].
  • No, not at all [I do not think the speculation about Joe Maddon’s future has affected the players]. Players are more worried about their own future and [more importantly] they’re focused on the task at hand. They’re good at blocking that stuff out. I think players do a wonderful job at blocking out distractions. They’re practiced at that, because of the nature of the game.
  • I don’t think things like legacies or playoff streaks matter in the moment [to the players in the clubhouse]. Those are things people talk about down the road.
  • Hoyer would not comment on David Ross speculation. (Earlier post here on Maddon, Ross, and the rumors picking up.)

  • We have to check in with Kimbrel today, but he might be activated over the course of the weekend. He really wants to get back and help the team. It is unclear [if Kimbrel will immediately get the 9th]. (Hoyer seemed to suggest that Kimbrel might even have another simulated game, but it was unclear).
  • Kintzler threw a bullpen session yesterday. We’ll see how he comes back in terms of soreness today.
  • Anthony Rizzo and Javy Baez could play through some pain if it came to that, but that’s not something anyone should count on or expect. Injuries are not an excuse/the reason we’re only tied for a Wild Card berth. We have to move on without them.
  • Kyle Schwarber is his most successful when he’s got to left-center field. He’s a tough out all the time right now. When he’s using that off-gap, he’s unbelievably dangerous. We need his bat these next 10 games, with a lot of right-handed pitching coming up:

  • I don’t know [why there have been so many outs on the bases this year]. I think when people say “they’re too loose!” or “they’re too tight!” it’s all just random speculation. There have been a lot of 1 and 2-run losses this season and I think a lot of people blame the bullpen, but it’s really sloppy play and base running is part of that.

  • On Jason McLeod’s lateral job movement:

  • When you’re tied with 10 games left, the balance needs to be more pressure than pleasure. For me this is about pressure. This is about urgency. Certainly our guys know that – that every single game is crucial. At this point it’s about having heightened focus and hopefully playing our best baseball.
  • At any point this season, we have said multiple times this team has never gotten hot for an extended period of time. Milwaukee has done it. The Cardinals have done it. But we haven’t been able to sustain that success. If we can’t do that, then we are going to fall short.

Author: Michael Cerami

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