Padres GM Hoyer discusses Cantu, Headley and the lineup

XX Sports Radio: Jed Hoyer Interview with Darren Smith (MP3)

  • Jed Hoyer thinks that "Sand was a neat concept" for the uniforms but "gray is more traditional" and it's a good change. 
  • The Jorge Cantu deal is done, he passed his physical.  He adds a lot of versatility, but he'll primarily play first base when the Padres face lefties.  He'll also give the Padres a chance to rest Chase Headley and he'll pinch hit as well.  Hoyer hopes that Cantu will blossom and win more playing time.
  • Hoyer made Jerry Hairston Jr. a contract offer in November.  Hoyer offered him a bit more money than last year, but Hairston wanted more so he decided to go elsewhere.  The real need this year was at corner infield.
  • Chase Headley wore down at the end of the season.  Headley admitted that he needs to get stronger this year.  "He's at the age and experience level where it's time for him to break out."
  • The Padres do create off season projections for players but they don't share them with the media.  Headley has been hurt by Petco Park as a left handed hitter.  "He's had a much better career than people give him credit for."
  • Cantu is right handed hitter and generally they are better at hitting in Petco.
  • Hoyer doesn't have a line up in mind for the team.  He and Buddy Black will discuss it during Spring Training.  The team is more balanced this year, but he has guys that he has slotted in top, middle and bottom of the order.
  • Headley will bat in the middle of the line up in the 5 or 6 slot. 
  • Will Venable is all over the map.  He's had success leading off and in the middle of the lineup.  "He's a guy that will really break out at some point." He's a very hard worker with a lot of talent.
  • Cameron Maybin will be closer to the bottom of the order.  As he produces he'll move up.
  • Brad Hawpe, Ryan Ludwick or maybe Chase Headley (if he's producing) could batting 3rd in the order.
  • Ryan Ludwick will show up to camp looking fantastic.  He was left with a bad taste in his mouth from last season.
  • Studies have debunked the contract year myth, but Hoyer thinks there is something to it.  Players seem to get more focused when they face free agency.
  • Every team in the division had a good off season.  Dodgers improved their rotation.  Giants are defending champions.  The Rockies added a lot of depth.  Arizona added depth and improved their bullpen.
  • It's a slippery slope when you start making player decisions reacting to other trades in your division.
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