Chicago Cubs: Breaking down Jed Hoyer’s end-of-season press conference

(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs / Jed Hoyer
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

Jed Hoyer held a press conference Wednesday morning, answering questions relating to the game, the future and fixing the many holes in his team. He was noncommital, as is warranted by the timeline, keeping his cards close to the vest as far as budget and identifying individual players the Chicago Cubs might target.

Hoyer is clearly a knowledgable baseball man, and just as transparently a fan of the game, and those two traits came across with crystal clarity during the nearly hour-long question-and-answer session. He took the time to frame his answers extremely carefully, hemming and hawing at some length, but in the end some information either leaked out of could be gleaned from his offerings.

I’ve undertaken the task of attempting to translate some of the interpretive dance:

He was very positive regarding the current manager of the Cubs, who has one year remaining on his original contract (as well as a 2023 option), and about whom there have been recent indications of contract extension negotiations.

“I hope David’s here for a long time,” he said, in part. Which says that David Ross is looked upon with favor, has done well, but as of yet there is no additional financial commitment. Hitting coach Anthony Iapoce will hit the revolving door, as will longtime stalwart Mike Borzello. Neither would seem to be particularly difficult to replace. Chris Valaika is in-house as Iapoce’s former assistant but Hoyer didn’t commit to his promotion.

“This was the right time to make that break.” he said about Iapoce. Later Hoyer was asked about needing power arms on the staff, and actually seemed enthusiastic, using a full 10 minutes of the webcast talking about it in various stylized fashions. What emerged from behind the curtain and performed a pirouette was that the team was somewhat challenged in terms of contact pitching, and a subpar defensive effort didn’t help.

“We didn’t have power stuff in our arsenal. You need power pitching and you need power arms to win…” he said at one point, expanding to include the power arms in the system and rookies Keenan Thompson and Justin Steele.

“I think they’ll be a significant part of our team, going forward…” he said of the duo, going on to say they could be part of either the rotation or the bullpen depending on how the hand unfolds.