D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall participated in his monthly live web chat with fans on Thursday. During the chat, Hall commented on the fans' efforts to vote Aaron Hill to the National League All-Star team, Trevor Bauer's warmup routine and the D-backs' defense and pitching depth.
Derrick_Hall: Welcome to the chat everyone. Tough series we just experienced, with a big one starting tonight. Hope you make plans to join us. We will get started here.
scout01: It's unfortunate -- Aaron Hill truly deserves to be an All-Star.
Derrick_Hall: I agree on Aaron. There are always players who get left off who deserve to be on. I was hoping we could vote him in. I know our fans gave it their best efforts and I appreciate it greatly. Aaron means a great deal to this team and what he has accomplished on the field this season deserves recognition. In fact, we will have a pre-game ceremony this Saturday to honor him and present him with a surprise gift. Fans should be in their seats by 6:45.
ghostgirl5: Can you comment on the Daron Sutton situation? Many fans (myself included) have been quite dismayed with the secrecy surrounding his suspension and would appreciate an update.
Derrick_Hall: I wish I could disclose more, but it is a personnel matter, so unfortunately we cannot. We know the situation is not great for anyone, but are fortunate to have broadcasting depth in Greg Schulte and Jeff Munn to adjust the rotations at this time.
mpc75: What's going on with the D?
Derrick_Hall: It has definitely been sloppy for the last week. When we make plays defensively and have clean games, we win. It is that simple. We need to sharpen up again. We were at the tops in the Majors until this small drought.
ghostgirl5: Do you have any plans to alter Trevor Bauer's warm-up routine?
Derrick_Hall: He has been doing it his whole career, so he is the one who needs to feel comfortable with a change. He is a very smart kid and will figure out if he needs to tweak it at all. There has been a great deal of focus on him and the warm-up, which is understandable. With the heat he experienced back east, the groin problem and the results from his starts, naturally, questions are asked. I do know this, he is an extreme talent.
mike85055: Why was Mark Grace gone from the booth for a while?
Derrick_Hall: Scheduled vacation time off. All of the guys have time off during the season.
scout01: When do you think we'll see Joe Saunders back with the club?
Derrick_Hall: Joe will be pitching in a rehabilitation game this Sunday. He is scheduled to re-join the rotation after the break in Chicago if all goes as planned.
mpc75: Any trades on the horizon? You are top heavy with infielders but have no pitching. Any insights?
Derrick_Hall: We are always looking for ways to improve and Kevin is on the phone constantly these days. When Joe Saunders comes back, our starting rotation will definitely improve. We are fortunate to have the pitching depth we do, where we were able to move Wade Miley into the rotation from the 'pen, do the same with Josh Collmenter and bring Patrick Corbin and Trevor Bauer up. Pitching has been one of our strengths. It sure doesn't help to lose Hudson for the year and Saunders for an extended amount of time.
robertma: Not sure if this is possible, but it would be great if pre-game the DBTV in-stadium TV channel could show batting practice happening on the field instead of just the D-backs logo ... would love to see BP from the Audi Club and other locations around the ballpark.
Derrick_Hall: That is a great idea that we will definitely look into. I appreciate the suggestion and certainly understand the reasoning behind it. Thanks again.
vindeaz: Do you anticipate being a "buyer" or a "seller" as the Trade Deadline approaches, and how do the next four games play into that?
Derrick_Hall: We are usually buyers each year, but we still need to wait and see. Being just six games out would make us believe we will be in this race. This four-game series against the division leader is obviously important for this race. And with an extra Wild Card team, I believe the decision becomes much more difficult for teams to buy or sell.
vindeaz: How do you think the boos will affect Upton, and what did you think of his "I don't care..." comment?Derrick_Hall:
If we listen to the entire soundbite, it is obvious that he cares. He works very hard each and every day. He was obviously emotional. He cares, and our fans do too. Our fans are passionate and they have higher expectations for all of us in this organization. That is not a bad thing.
TeamDRob: How's Takashi Saito been lately?
Derrick_Hall: Unfortunately, there is no timetable for his return. He is beginning to throw again. We are hopeful he will improve health-wise soon and be able to join this team. His experience and ability are reasons we signed him in the off-season.
ghostgirl5: I have been attending D-backs games since 1999. My husband and I always have a great time -- love the All-You-Can Eat seats! Just want to say thanks to all of the D-backs employees who make attending games such an enjoyable experience.
Derrick_Hall: I really appreciate that. Your support means the world to us. We set out to provide the best fan experience in all of baseball. Now we just need that home edge back from our boys on the field. I have faith in them.
east123: What is your anticipated rotation after the break?
Derrick_Hall: Gibby and his staff will determine during the break, but we can anticipate Kennedy, Cahill, Miley and Saunders for sure. Collmenter seems to be back, so he has a good fighting chance of remaining there, but Bauer and Corbin will be in that mix as well.
robertma: Are you happy with Drew's performance since his return?
Derrick_Hall: I do not think he would say he is happy with where his performance is because he is such a great offensive player and the numbers have not been there yet. He came up with a key pinch-hit double late last night, which is a good sign. He is working hard to get back to form.
Derrick_Hall: That is all the time we have. I appreciate your involvement. There are always going to be highs and lows in a season. We have just gone through one of the lows just after everything seemed to be clicking. I believe this team will be fine. We are far too talented, and this division will remain competitive internally. Thanks for your support. Crowds have been terrific and my hat goes off to you all.