During his May web chat, D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall discussed the need for players to get healthy and return to the lineup. He updated fans about the progress of Chris Young, Stephen Drew and Daniel Hudson, and said their return will make a big impact.
Derrick_Hall: Welcome everyone. Let's hope this chat can help snap the little streak we are going through. So glad you have all joined us.
Dbacks133: Has the Fan Vote Bobblehead winner been announced?
Derrick_Hall: Not yet, but it will be announced at the start of our next homestand, Monday the 21st. The first of the year is J.J. Putz, Saturday the 26th.
johnny14k: Will you travel out to Salt River Fields to see Chris Young and Stephen Drew play in extended spring training games?
Derrick_Hall: I was hoping to go today to see Young and Drew but could not get out of the office. Drew went 2-for-5 with a triple and a run, and Young went 1-for-3 with a double, two walks and a stolen base. Very positive signs. We certainly need to get healthy.
odogfan1: Can you give us a status update on Young and Daniel Hudson? How soon are they likely to return?
Derrick_Hall: Chris seemed to have come out of today's game positively and feeling much better. He picked up right where he left off. Daniel threw a bullpen session on Tuesday and felt good afterwards. CY seems to be really close. We need to make sure we take the proper time to get Hudson healthy with the depth of pitching we have to fill in. Wade has done a nice job in that role.
PiperFlyer: The team was about four games back in fourth place about this time last year. Do you see some of the same signs of a turnaround on the horizon?
Derrick_Hall: I certainly hope so. And keep in mind that we were healthy with all of our players during that start last year. We have been going through a tough stretch, but every team goes through these a few times during a season. I believe we will be fine and that our division will be close and competitive all season long.
calebks: All the way out in Kansas for this: Mr. Hall, the bullpen has been a sore spot so far this season, can we expect any changes in the faces?
Derrick_Hall: Most teams begin the season with some bullpen issues until their starters get stretched out. With starters not going that deep yet and fill-ins on shorter pitch counts, that taxes the 'pen even more. Our bullpen was our strength last year, but it looked very different at the end of the season than it did from the beginning. We will always look for ways to improve and upgrade if we can and if we need to.
johnny14k: What is the mood like in the locker room after a fifth straight loss?
Derrick_Hall: Naturally they are disappointed in how they have played during this stretch, but the overall morale is good. They all realize that the talent is there, that we will get healthier, and that the tides should turn.
dbacks2007: Not saying it should be done, but at what point do you take a serious look at the struggling third base and first base position?
Derrick_Hall: Each of the guys is showing signs. Gibby likes to go with the hot hand, and I have faith in him making the correct lineup decisions. If an area of need gets so out of hand that it has to be addressed, it will be. Our baseball staff is always watching, while looking around for ways to improve. I believe in these guys and their talent.
flyboy2012: Derrick, are there any plans on how the pitching staff will be worked out in the next 2-3, considering how Trevor Bauer and Tyler Skaggs may be September callups and could be in the rotation next year?
Derrick_Hall: A great problem to have. And it is not just Bauer and Skaggs performing. Bradley, Holmberg, Enright, Chafin and Anderson have all been pitching great, just to name a few. This has become quite the staff at all levels, and we will benefit from the depth.
teddy1934: Does the team have a full-time doctor/specialist in the mental aspects (i.e., trying "too hard") of the game?
Derrick_Hall: We actually do and our players like and trust him. He was very helpful last season and I am sure our guys will lean on him again.
johnny14k: Do you think the Phoenix Coyotes' playoff streak helps keep the boys thinking positive?
Derrick_Hall: It certainly helps. A few of the players from the Coyotes came out yesterday to watch batting practice and interact with our guys. It meant a lot to our team. We are all Coyotes fans and are thrilled for their success. And to see how much they support us was equally rewarding.
odogfan1: Please extend our sympathies to Eric Young and his family. Is there a charity we can donate to in memory of his father?
Derrick_Hall: Thanks for your kind words and thoughts. Eric and his father were very close. Having lost my father this past December, I know what a difficult time EY is going through. I have not heard where donations can be made, but you can always send to the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation and we can re-direct if so requested.
dbacks2007: I have been pleasantly surprised by the attendance this year. How much are we up compared to this time last year?
Derrick_Hall: Attendance has been super and I thank all of our fans for the support. We are up nearly 200,000 fans already over last year, and an average of around 3,000 per game more. Now we just need to send some of those big crowds home with victories.
johnny14k: What can we expect from the Draft?
Derrick_Hall: Because of our strong finish last year, our Draft positions are not great. I am not complaining, because I would much rather that be the case! We are focused on drafting the best player available with every selection. We were fortunate to have had the early selections last year, because we needed pitching and that was one of the best pitching classes in the Draft's history.
johnny14k: What do your players take away from a loss? Do they dwell and think about mistakes, errors, what ifs ... or is that a bad thing?
Derrick_Hall: It is always tough the night of, but our guys are good at quickly forgetting and preparing for the next game. It does not help to dwell on losses.
johnny14k: What players are making the impact right now that will bounce the team back?
Derrick_Hall: The impact should come from our players getting healthy. Imagine how different it would feel with Young, Hudson, Saito, Blum and Drew available each night. When Drew is ready, it will seem like a major free-agent acquisition, much like Buster Posey's return to the San Francisco lineup.
Derrick_Hall: My time is up, so we need to conclude. I really appreciate everyone joining us. Let's remain positive with this team. They are a special group of guys and we are confident they will turn it around quickly.