Hall talks Miley, offseason improvements with fans
Following the last day of the season for the D-backs, president and CEO Derrick Hall chatted with fans online. Hall discussed the areas that need to be addressed during the offseason, Wade Miley's award-worthy rookie year, growing D-backs Nation, and more.
Derrick_Hall: Welcome everyone. Always a sad day right after the season ends.
teddy1934: Hi Derrick. Best wishes and our prayers for your continued battle with prostate cancer in the offseason. Really hope the D-backs will provide us fans with a complete showing of the entire Alumni Game. What a disappointment not to be able to see it on TV.
Derrick_Hall: Thanks so much. I understand your concern. The alumni game was great. We look forward to making it an annual event.
devilaz: Hall, I'm a vegan season ticket holder but do not sit in the expensive seats to order a vegan burrito! Where can I get one in the stadium? I live on peanuts and beer! Thanks, Ralph in Tempe.
Derrick_Hall: It is an area we will be addressing this offseason with our concessionaire. I know that you are not alone out there. Hopefully we will have some solutions and options for you. Thanks for letting us know.
td824: Will you stay in-house to replace Mark Grace and Daron Sutton? Big loss but totally understand.
Derrick_Hall: We will likely look outside to fill, but want a connection to our past for sure, if at all possible. I am excited that Greg Schulte and Tom Candiotti will be back together on radio and thank both Greg and Jeff Munn for stepping up and in for us. They were terrific. We will put together a great broadcast team.
dahlstrom1: How good was (in my opinion) ROY [Rookie of the Year] Wade Miley this year?
Derrick_Hall: He was fantastic and clearly our most consistent starter. I am biased, but I strongly believe he deserves Rookie of the Year. He was dominant most of the season, which is difficult to accomplish as a rookie.
drsnake: Do you anticipate trading an outfielder or two and possibly pitchers for help at shortstop, or will the team be actively involved in the free agent market?
Derrick_Hall: We do have a logjam in the outfield, but it is a good problem to have and allows us to make some deals. We will definitely look to strengthen the left side of our infield, and it appears we will have to do so through trades. We always want to hold on to pitching, so will try to avoid moving starters, or any of our young talent.
dahlstrom1: What do you see as the top priorities to address this offseason?
Derrick_Hall: We will not see any huge overhauls. It will be more tweaking. We would like to keep our bullpen in tact. It is a strength of ours. Having the starting pitching depth is nice as well. Again, we will likely look to improve the left side of our infield.
dbacks2007: Hi Derrick, It doesn't seem like a successful year. However, I disagree to a point. I think you learned a lot about the team and especially the young players. I really expect us to bounce back next year.
Derrick_Hall: I agree. I think we all expected more, especially coming off of the NL West title. But we had some great individual years when you look at Aaron Hill, Paul Goldschmidt, Miguel Montero, Jason Kubel, J.J. Putz, Brad Ziegler, David Hernandez and Wade Miley, to name a few. And our Minor League system is very strong. We had five teams make the playoffs and they brought home four different championships.
molnar87: Has any decision been made on Racing Gracie?
Derrick_Hall: He stays. We love Mark, and he will always be considered one of our legends. Racing Gracie goes nowhere!
chrisbanks: The D-backs were awesome this year. It felt like we were back in the BabyBacks season again. I'm not a fan who keeps track of stats, but I know which players make me happy to be at the game and who seem to play the best they can.
Derrick_Hall: I was glad to see Patrick Corbin, Adam Eaton, Ryan Wheeler, A.J. Pollock, Tyler Skaggs and Trevor Bauer cut their teeth here this year. The future looks bright.
dbacks2007: Are there any plans to continue to upgrade the sound system within the stadium? I frequently sit around row 32 in section 130, or in that general area, and nothing can be heard from the PA announcer.
Derrick_Hall: We just did last offseason. There may be an issue in your section or row. We will test and look into it.
t_heard: Are we going to be looking for some left-handed relief to add to the bullpen?
Derrick_Hall: It is safe to say we are. We need to add strength in that area. We were fortunate to have a staff that could get guys out from both sides of the plate, but we will be looking for those specialists as well.
vindeaz: Do you anticipate some of our veteran backup leaders to be back? For example Henry Blanco, John McDonald and Willie Bloomquist?
Derrick_Hall: I would expect to see a few of them back, yes. Those you mentioned are great guys and brought tremendous leadership. We always try to balance the roster with a nice mix of veterans with our younger players.
hiero28: What about the rumors of trading Chris Young? How important is he to the team's chemistry?
Derrick_Hall: This goes back to our earlier point about an abundance of outfielders. They are rumors, but if we decide to move anyone, we always take chemistry into account and how such a move will impact our club.
ghostgirl5: Have you considered putting non-meat items in the All-You-Can-Eat section? Something like nachos? Also, how about something sweet, like licorice or cotton candy?
Derrick_Hall: We will take this request on [during] this offseason as well. Thanks for the question. We will look into it.
jkillinger: An average of 26,000 attendance a night in a park that seats nearly double that is kind of pathetic. How do we grow DbackNation?
Derrick_Hall: Our capacity is too large to begin with, as teams now build stadiums to accommodate around 40,000. We drew almost 2.2 million fans, the most since 2008. That is a good sign that attendance is moving in the right direction. There is a lot of interest, excitement and support for this team out there.
vindeaz: What are the odds J.J.'s option gets picked up?
Derrick_Hall: It is likely a priority of ours. He has been outstanding. He is a great leader in that bullpen and mentor to our relievers. We have had so much confidence turning the ball over to him to close out games, it is hard to imagine us not doing so.
addison01: Good afternoon Mr. Hall, it was pointed out in last night's season wrap up that there were 140 different lineups played this year. Do you think the team's lack of keeping a winning streak had anything to do with this lack of consistency?
Derrick_Hall: I think most teams would like to have a consistent lineup, but it is usually difficult to do with injuries and keeping guys fresh. Gibby used a similar amount of different lineups last year. He likes to keep players fresh and does a nice job mixing them in.
t_heard: Our [stadium] is large at 48,000-49,000, but if you look back we have used it well. As we reach the 15-year mark this next year, we have kids that have grown up with this team. #DbacksNation has a big chance to grow here, do you agree?
Derrick_Hall: Totally agree with both points and our fan base is growing up and getting larger. There is nothing like a sold out Chase Field. Opening Day, last season's stretch run, the All-Star game, Postseason games, this place looks great and is loud.
Derrick_Hall: That is all the time we have for now. Thanks to all of you for your support of these team again this year. I am confident that we will get back to our winning ways for you. Make sure to tune in to watch the post-season games. They will be exciting to watch. Go D-backs!