During a live web chat with fans, club president and CEO Derrick Hall shared his thoughts about the D-backs' slow start to the season, Josh Collmenter as a possible starter and the return of Cody Ross.
Derrick_Hall: So sorry everyone. We were having technical difficulties but are up and running. Thanks for being here today. Sorry about the slow start, we need to pick it up now.
tdog19: Dear Mr. Hall, I hope you had a good offseason. I am super excited for this year's talent, but we seem to have gotten off to a rocky start. Does this cause any con cern?
Derrick_Hall: I am always concerned about a slow start, and naturally worried about the injuries we suffered. But we have a lot of talent and that team has lost no faith in the season.
treborl13: In hind sight, do you think it was wise to open the D-backs' season in Sydney? Especially considering the bad start the D-backs have had?
Derrick_Hall: I would not place blame on the trip. It is difficult to take players out of their routines, but teams have recovered well in the past. Of the 12 teams who had played internationally in the past (including long trips to Asia), six have made the postseason. And the Dodgers started the season 4-1 and did not seem to be bothered. It was a great experience for our team and executives and we promoted the sport globally, while expanding our fan base.
tdog19: Will Huddy (Daniel Hudson) return as a reliever or a starter? Because I heard speculation that he would return as a reliever.
Derrick_Hall: He is progressing very well, but for his longevity we think relief is best for his future. But there have been several players that came back as starters. May be a lot to ask after two surgeries.
scout01: Is it time to call up Archie Bradley?
Derrick_Hall: He is exactly where he should be right now to fine tune some skills and work on his command. We cannot wait to get him here, but it needs to be the right time so that he can succeed and stay here.
ted00001: Is arbitration a factor with Bradley, Schultz, or Bolsinger?
Derrick_Hall: No. We make moves that are best for our team, If we need those guys and feel they are ready, then we would do so. Great question though.
scout01: Q: When do you think we'll see Cody Ross recalled?
Derrick_Hall: He is doing great and playing the majority of the innings in his games now. He still needs a little more rehab and to play all of the outfield positions. Hopefully by next week if he continues to progress.
tdog19: How many wins do you think we can pull out this year?
Derrick_Hall: I never make predictions, but believe me that we were not satisfied with 81 each of the last two seasons. Our expectations are higher. We have now dug a rather large hole and need to inch our way back to .500 before the hole deepens. I believe in these guys. ted00001: The payroll is right around $90 million this year. What exactly is the comfort zone for ownership based on overall revenue and expenditures -- $100, $110?
Derrick_Hall: Our payroll is actually right around $115 which is our highest of all time. We will always spend all we can. As our revenues continue to grow, so will our payroll as it consistently has over the last few years.
konasage93: When Cody Ross comes back, what does that mean as far as the depth of the pitching staff look like?
Derrick_Hall: The likelihood would be going from 13 pitchers to 12, but if our staff keeps getting taxed, we may have to look to the bench. We knew we would need an extra pitcher to start the season, so not much has changed at this point. But the plan all along has been to reduce the staff from 13 to 12. We shall see.
charann74: Hi there! I'm just wondering, on nights when events like Zombie Night or Stars Wars Night will be taking place and giveaways will be happening, will Season Ticket Holders also be receiving those goodies or do we have to buy another ticket to get those gifts?
Derrick_Hall: Those are specific to the night and the package, and not part of our promotional giveaways for the season. Perhaps you can talk to your rep about it to see if anything can be done.
ted00001: I don't know how involved you are with the day to day management of the team, but what do you think about Collmenter in the starting rotation?
Derrick_Hall: He was certainly strong in that role in 2011 and came through for us in an elimination game in the playoffs. He is good in any role and will do anything for the team. I love that guy and know he just wants to help. If we go that direction, he will be a solid fit.
treborl13: Provided they are productive and are not hindered by injury, which players do you believe MOST deserve to be on the ASG 2014 roster?
Derrick_Hall: It is obviously too early and voting hasn't started, but we can hope to see guys who are having great seasons get the nod -- like Goldy, Trumbo, Parra, Miley, etc. But that brings up a great point. We need to vote as much as possible and as early as possible. This great fan base showed what it can do with "The Face of MLB" and we now need to do the same for our guys. Let's send as many as possible to Minnesota.
Derrick_Hall: Thank you very much for joining us here. Again, I am sorry that we started a few minutes late. Thanks for your continued support of this team and your patience to the start of the season. We are better than we have played. Go D-backs!