Q&A with Jim Hendry

DES MOINES -- Cubs General Manager Jim Hendry was at Principal Park this week for a swing through the farm system.

How long are you going to be in town?

JIM HENDRY: Two or three games. This is my normal swing in August. I always try to go to Double-A and Triple-A in August to get ready for September call-ups. I've only been here one time this summer, so I needed to get back.

There are a handful of Iowa players having great summers. On the top of that list is Micah Hoffpauir --

JIM HENDRY: Micah is definitely going to be back. He's a real good player, he's had a phenomenal year, and he did a good job up in the big leagues, too. It's just when you get better in the big leagues and have a good club, sometimes it's hard to have everybody up there at once. But he (certainly deserves) his time. He's a good player; got a good future for us.

Are you going to need a left-handed bat in September?

JIM HENDRY: Oh, I hope so. We'll see how it goes. You know, you don't want to make commitments. A lot of things can happen between now and September 1st.

Another guy having a great season is Koyie Hill, especially coming back from an injury in the off-season.

JIM HENDRY: Wonderful guy; one of my favorites, I've known him since he was a college kid. He did a great job for us last year. I'm really glad to see him doing well.

What were your thoughts on him during Spring Training?

JIM HENDRY: I was thinking as long as he is healthy, he has a job here because I really like him. He's a winning-type player. He's a straight shooter. He proved last year he really wanted to be a Cub. He could have left and he wanted to come back with us, but I think the world of him. Great handler of pitchers.

Many of the Cubs minor league teams are in first-place. What does that say about the organization?

JIM HENDRY: I think Oneri Fleita is doing a great job as our player development director and our vice president of personnel. He's a terrific front office employee, he's done a great job with the minor league system and Latin America, and we're getting better so that's what you want. Winning is not the first priority in the minor leagues, but it certainly doesn't hurt.

Is it reflective of the talent in the organization?

JIM HENDRY: I don't know. I don't know if we're in the top-five, the middle, or a little above the middle, but we've got a lot of good coaches, good young managers like we've got here in Iowa. Pat Listach is certainly going to be a big league coach and hopefully some day a big league manager. And it's just a combination of things. Guys are working hard, we're developing guys the right way, and Oneri deserves a lot of credit for that.

Chicago is about to enter the stretch run. There are about 44 games left in the season. How are you feeling about the team?

JIM HENDRY: We've been playing well all year, hopefully we keep it up. Hopefully we stay healthy, but you know Milwaukee is not going to go away. The Cardinals aren't going to go away, so we've still got a lot of work to do. We hope we can finish it off and get in, and then start again in October.

How do you feel about winter ball, and how do you advise players about the off-season?

JIM HENDRY: It's strictly individual cases. We try not to get excessive in innings-pitched if guys have thrown a lot. Certain guys that have been injured and need to pitch, we certainly want to place them in winter ball. The position players, for the most part, we encourage to play. It's a person-to-person situation. Some guys you want to give them the time off and the rest; some guys you want them to play and get ready for next year.


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