During his monthly web chat with fans, D-backs president & CEO Derrick Hall talked about the recent trades and said the bullpen continues to be a key area of focus. He also discussed cutting down on strikeouts, looking outside the organization for a closer, and the timetable for Brandon Webb.
Derrick_Hall: Good afternoon. Thanks for joining us today.
scout01: Are you confident in Jerry Dipoto and when do you think a decision will be made to make him and Gibson permanent fixtures.
Derrick_Hall: Jerry has done an exceptional job as the interim General Manager. He is knowledgeable, confident, and poised. His work around the trade deadline was strong and positioned this team, and our future teams, in a much brighter light. I have said all along I am pulling for him and he will be a part of the search process. He may very well end up with the permanent job in the end, but we owe it to all of us and all of you to go through a candidate process.
caniplay2: As a supporter, excited to see progress on new training facility; I'm a nearby resident. Looking to future, will employment opportunities on site be handled locally by the D-backs or through Salt River Pima administration?
Derrick_Hall: Thank you for that. We will post the jobs on our site that will link you to the Community's job site. The complex is coming along great and will be the best in baseball.
padres7510: How are you going to improve the club?
Derrick_Hall: We first needed to provide more payroll flexibility so that we can address the holes and I believe we did that with our trades. We obviously need to strengthen the bullpen with back-end arms and would like another left-handed reliever. We will also look to add another starter before next season and identify some veteran presence. We also believe that a change in the culture, which is occurring right now, will help this ballclub.
xJOEYxCHESTNUTx: Why don't you call up Jeff Bailey from Reno?
Derrick_Hall: It is nice to see guys like Jeff producing. He is batting over .300 and sharing time with Brandon Allen in left field and at first base. They are both red hot right now. We need depth in the Minors, something we have been lacking for a few years. Our recent trades have also addressed some of those issues.
scout01: How do the new players seem to be fitting in with the club?
Derrick_Hall: Very well. These are quality guys with great make-up and reputations. The clubhouse feels fun and supportive again. A dark cloud and feeling of negativity had grown for a while, but that does not seem to be there anymore.
xJOEYxCHESTNUTx: Are there any Minor League players we will see get called up from reno or mobile anytime soon?
Derrick_Hall: For sure, in fact, Rafael Rodriguez was recalled just yesterday. And when rosters expand, we plan on bringing up quite a few.
jess81: Obviously you are not keeping key pitching staff to build a stronger bullpen and/or starting rotation, so how do you plan to build when there is no foundation?
Derrick_Hall: Though the bullpen has struggled for a few years, the starters have been quite consistent. We moved Haren and Jackson, and received Saunders and Hudson in return, who have both been tremendous. In addition to Kennedy, Enright and Lopez, this has become one of our strengths. We also have Jarrod Parker returning next season. As mentioned before, the bullpen is a key are of focus.
Nejhan: Being one of the probably very few D-backs fans in Sweden, will you promise me some wins when I come over next year to watch some games? Don't want to travel 5,300 miles just to see you guys lose. Good luck for the rest of the season!
Derrick_Hall: Great to hear we have a fan there! You will have to let me know if you are heading our way. We will take good care of you.
tomrob1: Do you have a specific closer for next season targeted and will he come from outside the organization?
Derrick_Hall: Our baseball staff is looking at all possibilities, and they are all outside of the organization. They are currently on other rosters or playing outside of the country. There are not too many on the free agent market for next year, so he will probably come through trade or international signing. Stockpiling the prospects as we have of late will help should we need to trade.
19155: How are you going to cut down on the strikeouts?
Derrick_Hall: A huge issue for us. The strikeouts have to decline. I can tell you our guys are working hard on doing so. We have players coming here three hours earlier than they usually do to work in the cages with the staff.
jimmer450: Will Legend Gracie ever win?
Derrick_Hall: Difficult to say. It has become quite the spectacle and has even created its own web site. Gracie asked me if this was all planned but I think he is having a lot of fun with it. The popularity of the race is increasing, and fans are having a great time with the Legends before the games and after the race.
caniplay2: Invite that Swedish fan to take your behind the scenes tours -- one of the best I've ever had, and the tour guide really knew her stuff!
Derrick_Hall: Sounds like that may have been Molly? She is terrific. We will definitely tour him around Chase Field. Thanks for the suggestion.
sirsimon: Mr. Hall, what is the starting rotation looking like next season? Will Brandon Webb be back at all this year?
Derrick_Hall: At this time, it would be Saunders, Hudson, Kennedy and Enright for sure. We would have a decision to make on Rodrigo or other free agents and would hope to see Jarrod Parker to join the staff at some point early in the season.
19155: No mention of Webb in the discussion: what's the inside story?
Derrick_Hall: Thanks, thought I would answer the Webb question after this one. There has been no further progress from Brandon at this point. It is frustrating for him because he is a competitor. There is no doubt we would be in a different position with a healthy Webby. It is still too difficult to say whether he will pitch this season or not, but we are obviously running out of time.
fantasycmp: So far it looks like the trades are a move in the right direction. Assuming Gibby gets the job for next year, will he be allowed to fill the entire coaching staff with his own picks?
Derrick_Hall: Absolutely. Gibby, or any manager for that matter, should have the authority to choose his own staff. He is another one I am pulling for during this interim period. He is working diligently to try to change the approach and the environment.
19155: In your years with the Dodgers organization did you go through a similar period of team rebuilding?
Derrick_Hall: We sure did, and the results are there now. Unfortunately, every team goes through periods like this. But it can turn around quickly.
Nejhan: How is Mark doing after that 90-something mph ball to his head?
Derrick_Hall: He felt a bit ill last night and had to come out of the game, but there is no one tougher. I went into the locker room to check on him after he got hit. He had a bag of ice on his head but said he didn't even have a headache and wanted to stay in the game and go to first base to run. He is amazing!
Derrick_Hall: We are out of time. Thanks to all of you. Looking forward to better results during this final third of the season. I thank all of you for your patience and continued support. Go D-backs!