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Josh Byrnes interview with Ben Higgins

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

XTRA Sports 1360: Josh Byrnes interview with Ben Higgins (MP3)

  • It's exciting to be in the race in late June. The team has worked hard and beaten some good teams.
  • The 2012 team finished last year 57-46. Byrnes was hoping some of the success would carry over, but the team started 5-15. "We just didn't play very well." He thought the team was still capable of winning. Gyorko started to solidify himself after a 20 game learning curve and the starting pitching has improved. Lots of players are contributing now.
  • The next few weeks will determine if the Padres bring in a "rental player who will be a free agent at the end of the year" to make a playoff run. The team also might be looking for players who could be part of the team next year. Byrnes and his staff are having on going discussions about players and resources.
  • Byrnes hopes that the ballpark fence changes will benefit the team. He thinks the park plays fairs now and offers a more exciting environment. The team has played well at home this year, "is that because of this? I don't know." Fans and players aren't talking about the dimensions they're talking about the results on the field.
  • Both Byrnes and Black are patient by nature and believe that Chase Headley will bounce back eventually. He's too good of a player to struggle much longer. Huston Street has always had pinpoint command in his career but he's been missing his spots this season. Both guys are struggling right now.
  • Tommy John recovery is different for everyone. Joe Wieland's rehab has been a little smoother. He's been pitching simulated games. He'll be in a rehab assignment pretty soon in the minor leagues. Cory Luebke has had soreness but has started to throw again this past week. In a perfect world both players pitch this year. Wieland is ahead of the schedule but at best he's 4-6 weeks away.
  • Byrnes knows the Padres won't be able to outbid other teams in free agency. Signing a young talented player to a long term deal early is a "win-win contract model". It's not a new idea, it's
    It's a win-win contract model-Josh Byrnes (optional)

    something Byrnes and the Indians were doing 20 years ago. There's some risk but even if you're wrong it still won't knock the franchise off course. There's a few players on the team that they'll consider offering this type of contract.
  • Eric Stults, Jason Marquis and Andrew Cashner have really stepped it up and have gotten themselves in a nice rhythm the last few weeks.