D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall fielded questions about owner Ken Kendrick's comments, Justin Upton's benching, Stephen Drew's rehab and D-backs pitching during a live web chat with fans.
Derrick_Hall: Welcome everybody. Glad to be with you for this chat.
mcashen: Hi Derrick, I hope you are enjoying this recent success as much as I have been. I was wondering what your thoughts were on the comments made by Ken Kendrick.
Derrick_Hall: We are finally well and with consistency. Winning four out of five helps everything feel better. Ken is very passionate. He cares a great deal about this team and wants to win for the fans. He spoke out of frustration. He has since had some nice exchanges with Justin. These players understand how he felt and are fine. Everything has calmed down, thankfully.
odogfan1: On a positive note, it's good to see so many people at weekday games. How are we doing attendance wise relative to last season?
Derrick_Hall: The fans have been terrific and the crowds are up nearly 25% over last season. We are seeing crowds of over 4,000 per game compared to 2011. Seeing crowds in the low to mid 20's against the Rockies mid-week is very encouraging. Now we just need to win more at home to send those great fans away with victories.
sforce116: What do you believe is a reasonable time table to see Stephen Drew playing all nine innings in a game in Reno?
Derrick_Hall: We will just have to see how he responds. He has gotten up to seven innings and that is probably the target at first. It is great that he is going out on the rehab assignment. His arrival here will be like a big free agent acquisition.
susskat: Hi Mr. Hall, I am really impressed with the D-backs' most recent victories. However, do you think benching players who are slumping is the best way for them to improve?
Derrick_Hall: Gibby has a reason for every decision and has been through all of this as a player as well. Justin has been pressing hard and the staff wanted him to relax and clear his mind. He will be the Justin we know and expect in no time.
sforce116: Why is the team going to wear Italian jerseys on July 1?
Derrick_Hall: It is a Brewers promotion in Milwaukee. Both teams are wearing jerseys with Italian colors and script. This was all coordinated by the Brewers through Major League Baseball.
edward213: Hi there, my name is Edward Throckmorton. I am the Cadet Color Guard Commander from Thunderbird High Schools NJROTC. I am wondering if there would be any possible chance of my units Color Guard team possibly presenting the national colors at a home game.
Derrick_Hall: Absolutely. Contact us off-line through our Game Operations staff. We are so proud of all of our military programs such as our upgraded seats and half-off prices on Sundays. July 4 we will have all branches represented and will be hosting more than 1,000 members of the military.
sforce116: I like the idea of getting a catcher in the first round. What was it about Stryker Trahan (other than the great name!) that the Diamondbacks liked about him?
Derrick_Hall: He is a very powerful young man with extreme upside. He is a left-handed power hitter with great defensive skills, and we were scarce in catching depth.
jacobmh36: Is there a possibility that Bauer's start tonight will be his last in AAA?
Derrick_Hall: He has been fantastic and has been making a strong case, but there just isn't room in the rotation right now. That is a good problem to have with as well as Ian, Daniel, Trevor, Wade and Joe have been.
jacobmh36: Is there any regret in the organization of the Cahill/Parker trade?
Derrick_Hall: Cahill has been strong. He is coming off of a complete game shutout on Sunday. We have seen how well sinker ball pitchers can perform at Chase Field. He is 24 years of age with 400 innings already under his belt. We love Parker, don't get me wrong. We wish him well because he is such a terrific guy.
sforce116: Are you as surprised with Wade Miley as the rest of us are?
Derrick_Hall: He certainly looks like a different pitcher. He is 7-2 with an ERA in the 2.00's in his rookie year. He has been very aggressive, going right after hitters, pounding the strike zone and getting ahead in counts. As long as he continues to do that, he will be successful.
serg1234: Hello Mr. Hall, I was wondering if you could give an update on the team's interest in Kevin Youkilis.
Derrick_Hall: I know there has been a great deal of attention to that possibility, with reports of our scouts watching him. We cannot officially discuss any player interest from other teams, but we are constantly watching several players and most teams in hopes of improving our roster. With the bats waking up and runs being produced, hopefully there will not be many or any needs.
sforce116: Have there been any talks about locking up Kennedy and Hudson long term?
Derrick_Hall: We have discussions regularly about long-term deals with some of our pitchers. It is to our advantage to lock some of these guys down longer term to keep this group in tact.
sforce116: Is Trevor Bauer only going to be called up for a spot in the rotation, or would he be called up and pitch out of the bullpen?
Derrick_Hall: Trevor has been a starter throughout his life and career. With his extreme preparation routine, he is probably better suited for that role. But my guess is he would be willing to accept any role. If he were to be promoted though, it would likely be to fill a spot in the rotation.
jacobmh36: Assuming Tyler Skaggs is up this year, do you see him as being a starter or pitching out of the bullpen?
Derrick_Hall: Tyler is doing well again this year. We have always considered him a starter and see him as one in the future. Having him, Bauer, Corbin, Chafin, Holmberg, Brewer, Bradley and Enright in the system gives us great depth.
Derrick_Hall: That is all the time we have. Thanks so much for joining me today. Go D-backs!