Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Jed Hoyer spoke on a range of topics this week, and, since we haven’t heard from him in a minute, I thought it worth rounding up. You can see more of his comments here, here, here, here, and here, among other places.
Among the comments …
• The start for Seiya Suzuki has obviously been ridiculous, and this exchange, via The Athletic, is perfect:
Reporter: “Jed, on Opening Day, you said that Seiya would need some transition time. I mean, how wrong could you have been?”
Hoyer (laughing): “Maybe this is the transition.”
• In all seriousness: “We talked about the challenges of adjusting to pitching over here,” Hoyer said, “and the challenges of being in a foreign country and not speaking the language and trying to play baseball every day. What he’s done so far is remarkable. It is a long season. There’s going to be peaks and valleys, of course, but we’re thrilled he’s a Cub. The stuff he’s been doing in the batter’s box has been exceptional, obviously, but just fitting in and being a gregarious, funny teammate and doing it in a second language is incredibly difficult. The guys on the team love him. He’s been a great addition.”
• Apparently Suzuki joked with Hoyer that he was tricked by the Cubs in the presentation about playing in Chicago weather, to which Hoyer responded with a chuckle (NBCSC): “It wasn’t a trick. I think we spun it in the best possible light for Chicago. We admitted it was cold in April, but we said once you get past May, it was very similar to what he was used to in Hiroshima. And I stand by that.” (Don’t worry, Seiya went on to say that he is very happy now with Jed and his teammates, so he doesn’t mind the weather.)
• Hoyer spoke to the prevalence of groundballs, which Michael dug into earlier today.
• On the pitching hopefully emerging at the big league level and throughout the farm system: “I feel like our pitching development is in a good place,” Hoyer said. “We have some guys up here that can contribute, and we also have some guys that are on the rise and have a chance to contribute here this year or certainly next year. Hopefully, this is kind of the front edge of that movement.”
• Hoyer on Jake Arrieta, who is retiring: “When I think about Jake, he wanted the ball in the biggest games,” Hoyer said. “His kind of airplane speech that he made to everyone about, ‘You guys get in and I’ll take care of the rest,’ I think that meant a lot to a young team …. As far as us winning the World Series, yeah I don’t think you can say there was a bigger acquisition …. Very clearly when we acquired him, we thought we were getting a power arm from Baltimore that sort of haven’t met his potential there and we hoped that a change of scenery would do him a lot of good,” Hoyer said. “Never in our wildest dreams did we imagine that he was gonna hit the heights that he did.”
• As teams around baseball start to deal with COVID issues once again, Hoyer knows it could pop up for them at some point. “COVID is still around,” Hoyer said, per NBCSC. “I know there are some municipalities out there that are going back to mask mandates, and I think [a lot] of us are largely vaccinated and a lot of guys have hit it and a lot of people want to move on and not wear masks. And I totally understand that desire to return to that. But we can’t forget that there’s new variants out there, and there’s cities that are struggling. We have to continue to be careful.”