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December 11, 2019

Jayce Tingler

San Diego, California

Q. Congratulations, first of all.

Q. Second of all, you have great players on the team. Is that part of good enough reason to take this job?
JAYCE TINGLER: Yeah, I think that was probably the most important thing that we were looking for is a chance to -- at least I was looking for a chance to be ultra-competitive on the field, a chance to play meaningful baseball in the month of September, and a chance to get to the World Series and win the World Series.

So the roster over here, not only at the Major League level, but the work that's been done by people in this organization up and down through the Minor Leagues, I just have the feeling that we're in a position maybe to compete for a good period of time.

Q. What do you think you still need? Where do you need improvement?
JAYCE TINGLER: I think we're always looking for balance, and I'm really happy with a lot of the acquisitions and moves that have been made. Primarily the week before, whether you're talking Pomeranz and Davies and Profar and Pham and Grisham. So I still think we're a work in progress.

The truth is we're going to need players that are -- whether they're coming in or whether they've been here in the past, there are going to be areas that we have to improve if we want to play playoff baseball, and I think the good thing is we've got the players that are capable of doing it.

Q. What do you view as the strengths of this roster?
JAYCE TINGLER: I don't think enough people talk about some of the pitching depth and the starting pitching. We're going to need some breaks. We're going to need some good health. I'm excited about, whether it's Paddack, whether it's Lamet, Richards, Davies, Lucchesi, Quantrill.

I'm excited about some of the depth, whether we're talking Morejon or Bolanos or Baez, and we haven't even gotten to Gore and Patino.

I like what's going on with the bullpen, obviously, Kirby Yates, what he's been able to do the last couple of years, Pomeranz. You see what he did when he went to the bullpen with Milwaukee down the stretch. The power arm in Munoz, Strahm. I'm leaving guys off as well.

So I'm kind of excited for some of the pitching depth, and you look up throughout the -- with the pitching depth, and you look up, the infield defense, I think it's our goal we should be the best infield defense in the game of baseball, whether it's Machado and Tatis. We've got to get Profar, he's got to get back on track, especially with his throwing, and Hosmer defensively at first. I think we've got good range. We've got good hands. We've got good decision-makers.

So between the pitching and the defense, those are kind of two areas that I'm hoping we're going to be pretty strong at.

Q. Regarding the pitching depth, are you looking for an established guy at number 1, a Scherzer (indiscernible)? Is that overblown, or does it make a difference to have a (indiscernible)?
JAYCE TINGLER: It depends on the team. You could make an argument about Richards being -- when I saw him at Anaheim, not only was he one of the dirtiest pitchers that our hitters would come back talking about, and you could argue, is he a number 1, is he a number 2? Lamet is as filthy as can be at times. Paddack is working towards that.

So, look, we're going to need some breaks. We're going to need some good health along the way. I think the message is, as with all the guys, we're asking them to prepare each day, to work each day, to be active, whether it's in the gym, to take care of everything they've got to do before the day, and we're going to be looking for guys to take steps forward in their progress.

Q. First year in the organization and your first year as a manager, what do you most want to accomplish between now and Spring Training and just feel comfortable?
JAYCE TINGLER: I want to continue to meet with players, whether that's one-on-one or one-on-four in groups. I want to establish just better relationships with those guys, whether that's on the phone or whether that's traveling to see if there's anything we can get done. Continue to stay in contact. I want to make their experience, when they go to Spring Training, and whether I'm on the field or in the clubhouse, I want it to be as comfortable for them.

We've been traveling around. I think the month of December, most of the guys are -- they're working on their speed. They're working on their agility. They're working in the weight room. They're getting stronger, getting more flexible, all those things. What's exciting is when it starts to shift to baseball skill the month of December and January, they start hitting, they start throwing, they start working on their defense. The next two months, we want to continue to see that progression as we head to Spring Training.

Q. What are the duties of the associate manager?
JAYCE TINGLER: Basically, my right-hand man. Skip is -- I'm going to be leaning on him for a lot of things, whether that's in game strategy, whether that's the work that is done with the players before the game, if that's game planning, scheduling. I'm going to be relying on a team, not just Skip, but it's going to be all members of the staff, whether that's Larry, whether that's Bobby D. I'm going to be going all across the board, and that's the one thing that I ask out of that group is that they fire their ideas, especially in the game.

I like hearing thoughts. I can process information and make a call, but it's a group of confident men that's not going to be afraid to express their thoughts and what they're seeing in the game.

Q. Jayce, with the addition of the 26-man roster spot, particularly with your player development background, how is that going to affect not only how you handle the player roster but throughout the organization, looking for the pure speed guy or the pure platoon guy to have an avenue?
JAYCE TINGLER: We're not there yet. We haven't talked strategy on how to use that 26th guy right now. That will probably be a couple weeks down, and then obviously we're going to want to see the guys in Spring Training. So we haven't really talked strategy, but it does give you a lot of open-endedness. Do you want a defensive guy? Do you want a bat coming in off the bench, whether that's right-, left-handed, somebody to steal a base, somebody to play specifically defensively. It gives you a lot of flexibility. Do you want to think about carrying a third catcher.

We haven't been in deep discussion quite yet on exactly what route we want to go.

Q. Jayce, it's been quite a whirlwind for you. You started out in the Dominican (indiscernible) 9-1 and then you get the call. What has this winter been like?
JAYCE TINGLER: It was exciting. Being with that Escogido team, that was, quite frankly -- and been in pro ball since 2003, it was a short period of time, but it was one of the funnest moments or times I had in baseball, the way the group was playing down there, the energy, and the guys were rocking and rolling.

So to get the call, I was basically in the third inning of a game. You get the call, and you're completely overwhelmed. It took about a minute, I dropped to my knees. You get up. You accept the job. And so it's six more innings to go manage, and then obviously you get on a plane and go out.

I'm super grateful for the opportunity being over there. I'm grateful for the way the Dominicans, not only the players, the staff, the people, treated me over there. I'll be going back there shortly. I need to see some of the players that are with the Padres and also to check back in with some of the Escogido guys.

Q. Do you follow the team?
JAYCE TINGLER: Every day. I'm still on the text line. I'm getting updates on who's off the roster, who's on, and I watch the highlights every day on YouTube.

Q. One of Machado's former teammates said, when he was motivated, he is the unquestioned best player in baseball. How do you see yourself as a motivator, and how is your relationship with him coming along at this point?
JAYCE TINGLER: I've had good connections with Manny two times. Obviously, saw him out here on the jersey reveal, and I would agree with that take. When he's locked in and he's ready to play, he's arguably the -- you know, one of the best players in the game.

How I see myself as a motivator, I don't know if I do. I think Manny, my discussions with him is ready to go this year. He's out there in Miami working right now, and whether it's myself or other staff members -- we're going to be down there a little bit checking in. It's a fine line. I want to certainly respect everybody's off-season, but at the same time, for me personally, I just want to continue for the relationship to grow and just some small frequent check-ins.

I'm excited about where Manny is going and what he's going to do this year for sure.

Q. With the additional staff, what is Glenn Hoffman's role going to be with the club now?
JAYCE TINGLER: He's going to help out with some of the infield and obviously the third base coaching duties. It's good having Glenn, somebody experienced over there, I think. There's a lot of hard jobs in the game. I think the third base coaching box can be one of the most stressful and hardest positions in the game. So being able to rely on his experience and all his time over there and making good decisions.

Hopefully, he's a coach that is -- has a tired arm because we're getting on base and we're scoring runs. So it's comforting to have him over there for sure.

Q. Going back to Gore and Patino, how much does having them waiting in the wings affect your starting rotation plans going forward this off-season?
JAYCE TINGLER: I don't think it affects it. I think the most important thing is going to be their development. So not to speak on what their plans are in Spring Training, but I do know our group thinks what is important is their continued progression and development going forward. If they continue to make progress -- obviously, they're ultra-talented, but we'll rely on a pretty big group up there that has a lot of eyes on them, doing a lot of heavy lifting with them, working with them on a day-to-day basis. We'll trust that group when they're starting to knock on the door and get close.

Q. With your experience in Minors, how do you define Major League readiness?
JAYCE TINGLER: Are you talking pitching? Are you talking position players? I think like those two, are they built up to a certain workload? I think like our biggest responsibility is making sure they're healthy. We don't want to put them in stressful situations when they're not ready to go.

Look, if pitchers are getting injured all across the industry, we need to do everything in our power to make sure that we've dotted our I's and crossed our T's.

As far as Major League ready, we're looking for guys that can command their fastball in four different quadrants of the zone, that can throw a secondary pitch, whether it's curveball, slider, change-up at any time. Specifically, when they're behind in the count. We're looking for guys that field their position and to control the running game and to be able to manage a game and be able to get through an order two to three times, especially for those young guys.

So I think we kind of factor all those things in. That's what some of the group will be looking for.

Q. How much have you thought about the starting lineup, and can you give the Brown is back faithful a glimpse of who fits where?
JAYCE TINGLER: Yeah, I started thinking about it, and then I started thinking A.J. Preller and his crew, like I start writing it on the board, and then it constantly changes. Look, we're going to have a lot of flexibility in the lineup. I feel like, if we're ready to go out and play tomorrow, I feel good about it. There may be some additions and may be some subtractions.

I think right now I haven't really put -- I put things on the board. I did it last week, and then all of a sudden, here came another player or two. Obviously, I play things out. I talk with the staff on ideas, but I think like we're going to have a chance to have a balanced lineup. We're hoping to have a group that's maybe on base a little bit more, a group that can manage the zone and grind out at-bats and certainly defend their positions and run the bases well.

I think some of those additions that came in last week, I think we're going to have a lot of options out there.

Q. You mentioned A.J. With the recent acquisitions, how much input do you get in those, do you want in those?
JAYCE TINGLER: We sit in there, and we kick ideas. Really we're relying a lot of the guys that are on the ground. Whether that's the scouts out there traveling, seeing them. So for me it's a lot of listening. If there's players I've had in the past or ran across, we'll throw ideas down, but that's where A.J. and his group is really good. They've got a lot of resources, and they do a good job of dividing up those resources and making sure we're kind of on the target areas we need.

Q. (Indiscernible) been really important to A.J. --

Q. Yes. Their guys obviously consider themselves speedy, but for the ones that aren't, that are already on the roster, are you asking them specifically to be working on that? Are there specific things you're hoping to get out of the whole roster in that area?
JAYCE TINGLER: No, not necessarily. I think in today's game, I think there's opportunities to run. I think there's opportunities to grab 90 feet, whether we can pick up tendencies on a pitcher, whether we're at second base and there's a left-handed batter and the third baseman's playing in the 6 hole or shortstop.

But we're asking our guys -- when I talk about speed, we're talking about, yeah, it's something that I think as a group we need to work on and run, but we're talking about just an active group that, when they show up to the ballpark, that they're getting their treatment in, that they're moving around, they're working on their flexibility, they're working on their -- it can be speed. It can be power. It can be strength.

We're looking for a healthy group that gets into the gym and does some type of activity a day, whether that's lower body, whether that's upper body, whether that's total body work, or they're just out there to foam roll and get more range of motion.

I think it's important. I think it's important that we're active and we're healthy, and it's no different -- I'm hoping that we can educate our guys on, whether it's sleep, or whether it's nutrition, or whether it's hydration, everything goes hand in hand. There's no doubt that these players have a heavy travel schedule. It's a heavy schedule in the Major Leagues.

So we just want to do the best we can at educating them on how to stay healthy and stay on the field, which ultimately gives us a chance to be productive and win games.

Q. When you talk about speed and the ability to get bags in today's game, how much of that, when you look at Fernando Tatis Jr., do you think that's exactly the kind of guy I want?
JAYCE TINGLER: I think everybody is looking for that guy. I don't even know how to define him. Super athletic, fast. I think we were talking today at lunch. It's almost like he's elastic. He's able to change his body -- you see some of the slides. I saw him on the highlight videos, but he's an ultra-talent, huge ability. If he continues to get on base, I think he's going to be able to push the envelope a little bit, and he should be able to get himself into scoring position quite frequently.

Q. Aside from what he'll bring on the field, what do you think made Tommy Pham correct for the front office and you as manager?
JAYCE TINGLER: A ton of things. Watching him from other dugouts in the past. I remember him from 2015. He's a guy that each and every year seems to get better. He looks like a self-made man to me. He continues to shrink down his zone. He seems to have cut down his strikeouts. He's a threat in the box. You start to talk to staff members. You start to talk to people that have played with him, and then you talk to him on the phone. He's got an edge. He's got a drive to be great. He's got a drive to improve, and he wants to win. So excited to have that type of player on our team moving forward as well.

Q. Are you looking to hold guys accountable from this track record of experience?
JAYCE TINGLER: I'm looking forward to him just being himself.

Q. Rod Barajas as quality control coach, is he going to do more than work with the catchers?
JAYCE TINGLER: Yeah, we're going to trust Rod on quite a few of things. Obviously, the catchers. He has a ton of history with not only the team from last year, but he's had a lot of these guys as he came up in AAA with.

We're going to rely on him for a number of things. Our group, in my experience, the majority of them, the ones that I connected with, they speak really good English. Rod, being bilingual, is going to help on that as well. Just being able to draw on all of Rod's experiences, whether that's offensively, defensively, game strategy, I'm going to use him as a resource as well.

Q. As a younger guy who doesn't have as much experience as a lot of other Big League skippers, do you look to other sports, like a Sean McVay, a young coach around sports who has had success as a coach or manager early on to grab tips on how to move forward with professional sports management?
JAYCE TINGLER: I haven't traveled in a year or two, but I had time in years past to travel around and maybe watch a basketball practice, watch a football practice. I had the experience of, when I was with Texas, we went to the Seattle Seahawks training camp, got to spend some time with Pete Carroll.

One of our coaches, when I was with Texas, was Steve Bushell, who is roommates with John Elway. So when we did a Denver trip, we got to connect with John Elway, who gave us all access into the Broncos training camp years ago. So I've had some of those experiences, but to answer your question, I haven't been able to do that in a year or two.

Q. Do you have any previous experience with Bobby Dickerson before he was hired? How much of his experience with Manny do you think is behind this hire?
JAYCE TINGLER: No, I didn't have any experience with him personally. I saw him from across the field, and I've admired him. Obviously, when we had a chance to interview him for the bench coach job, I was coming from winter ball. He drove in from the Mexican league, met us late night. We had dinner. We talked. We did an interview, and we immediately connected.

Probably the most assuring thing is, once we announced that Bobby was going to be the bench coach and work with the infielders, I probably got 45 to 50 texts from people that have played for him, worked with him. He's truly an expert at what he does. He gets infielders better. He gets ball players better. He's done a lot of things in the game, and we look forward to him continuing to do those things with the Padres.

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