XX Sports Radio: Jed Hoyer Interview with Darren Smith (MP3)
- The ballpark plays differently during the day. Balls to the gaps can go for home runs. At night fly balls die in the air. Line drives to left field can leave the ballpark.
Adrian Gonzalez didn't hit one home run after 8 o'clock last year. He had a 11 home runs at Petco and 6 of them were during the day. The latest he hit a home run at home was in the 4th inning.
- Great hitters can still hit in Petco Park but they won't put up the same numbers. Gonzalez produced in San Diego but it was never close to what he hit on the road. "We need to develop a team that learns to embrace it and appreciate it."
- Hoyer has asked Bud Black if players complain about Petco Park and Black says they don't.
- Hoyer feels for hitters that make such hard contact and it dies at the wall.
- The Phillies are 22-4 at Petco Park. Hoyer says they are built for this ballpark with "big power" and excellent pitching. "They're a good team anywhere." Their record is probably "somewhat fluke-ish".
- The biggest frustration with the lack of offense is that the team is wasting good pitching. Hoyer thinks Ryan Ludwick is coming out of his slump. Jason Bartlett has been swinging the bat well. "Hawpe, the last two nights, has looked much more like the player we expected than he did in his first 50 plate appearances."
- "It comes down to situational hitting." The Padres are hitting .175 with runners in scoring position which is 25 points lower than any other team in baseball. It will turn around. "I think we're swinging the bats a little better right now."
- Hoyer thinks players are still pressing and are still struggling like they did in September. They need some hits and to relax.
- The hitting coach Randy Ready comes in everyday with a fresh perspective. Ready has helped players start to come out of their slumps. It's still early in the season.
Will Venable is one of Hoyer's favorite players on the team. He's started the season cold. He's shown the ability to get really hot and Hoyer hopes he will soon. Venable is "a bit of a tinkerer", he has to get past changing his stance, his set up and thinking about things more than he should. He should just let his athleticism take over. With time and maturity he'll get past it. However, Venable is 27 and not a kid. It's time for players like Venable to produce.
- Hoyer and his team have talked about all their options in the minor leagues. With Anthony Rizzo, "there is development left." Rizzo is "undercooked", they want him to be ready. "I think he's going to be a very good Padre, but that time isn't today." Money isn't an issue, the focus is on development. "Big Leagues can humble you in a hurry." The goal is to bring him up for good, not bring him up and have to send him back to the minors. Freddie Freeman is a very comparable to Anthony Rizzo, but he had 500 plate appearances in the minor leagues before being brought up the Braves.