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Hazen believes in D-backs despite recent slump

MLB.com @SteveGilbertMLB

OAKLAND -- D-backs general manger Mike Hazen was scheduled to be out scouting for next month's Draft, but instead cut that trip short in order to be with the team for the series with the A's.

The D-backs have been mired in a month-long slump that has included 13 losses in 14 games headed into Friday's series opener, and Hazen felt it was important to show his support in person.

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OAKLAND -- D-backs general manger Mike Hazen was scheduled to be out scouting for next month's Draft, but instead cut that trip short in order to be with the team for the series with the A's.

The D-backs have been mired in a month-long slump that has included 13 losses in 14 games headed into Friday's series opener, and Hazen felt it was important to show his support in person.

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"You know, we're going through a tough period right now and you obviously want to be here to reinforce that it's a period and we're going to get through it," Hazen said. "I think we're all in this together from the front office on down. It's when you go through these periods, I think it's important that everybody feels that."

The D-backs jumped out to a 21-8 start and were 24-11 and in first place prior to the slump. While talk radio and message boards might be filled with people demanding changes, Hazen instead believes that trusting the process that worked as recently as a couple of weeks ago is the way to go.

"That really hasn't been our operating philosophy," Hazen said of making sudden changes. "What's changed since we had the best record in the National League two weeks ago? From a process standpoint, from an approach standpoint, nothing. The results have changed. We're not playing good baseball right now. We need to get back to playing good baseball. That's certainly something we're focused on."

As for acquiring help from outside the organization, that's not easy this time of year.

The trade between the Mariners and Rays on Friday aside, the trade market is usually very quiet at this point in the season. Teams are focused on the Draft, and most have not given up on competing for a postseason berth and are not ready to sell.

"We're in a little bit of a tricky time now given the state of the game that there's not much trade activity going on at this point," Hazen said. "There is some, but not a lot. But we're exploring those things as we speak."

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The D-backs have suffered injuries to key players like third baseman Jake Lamb, pitchers Robbie Ray and Taijuan Walker and outfielders A.J. Pollock and Steven Souza Jr.

"We weren't talking about injuries when we got off to the start that we did ... So, it's not an excuse on the other side," Hazen said. "We've gone through a little bit of the grinder. It's about execution. We haven't executed at the same level that we were for the first 4-5 weeks of the season. That is going to happen during the course of a baseball season. We did it for almost the entire month of August last year. When you go through and how you go through it, it's tough, but everybody is focused on taking care of their own individual responsibilities and I think if we do that individually, then collectively the team will start to play better."

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Arizona Diamondbacks