Club president and CEO Derrick Hall conducted a web chat Thursday from the D-backs' new spring complex, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Hall fielded questions from fans about the roster going into Spring Training, Jarrod Parker's timetable and D-backs FanFest.
Derrick Hall: Welcome everyone. I am conducting this chat from our spring offices at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, looking out onto the stadium. I cannot wait for all of you to come see it.
Darkness51986: When can I expect to see Patrick Corbin playing in the Majors?
Derrick Hall: It won't be too many years from now. He had another tremendous season, and seems to be on a fast track, much like Tyler Skaggs, who we also received in the [Joe] Saunders-[Dan]Haren deal. Skaggs is considered our number two prospect behind Parker. Having two young left-handed starters with so much promise is a novelty.
djsalch: Just wanted to say that despite all the negative comments from fans regarding this winter's moves, I must say I'm really excited to see the new D-backs this spring! Good luck this season!
Derrick Hall: I appreciate that. The reviews have been mixed, but bottom line is we need to win. Our baseball staff went to work this offseason addressing the number of strikeouts on the offensive side and the need to bolster our bullpen. This is a different team, but we needed to make changes. We have added competition at most positions and focused on bringing in veteran leaders.
gusgus23: Most publications have you finishing in the cellar again this year. With the changes to the team, do you see yourself flying under the radar and surprising the "expert writers?"
Derrick Hall: We will definitely be flying below the radar and hope to improve greatly over last season. The additions of Zach Duke, Armando Galarraga, JJ Putz, David Hernandez, Kam Mickolio, Melvin Mora, Geoff Blum, Xavier Nady, Willie Bloomquist, Juan Miranda and Henry Blanco should help. This team will play the game the right way and will mean business. That is going to be Gibby's approach from the first day of spring.
vindeaz: Do you feel the roster is pretty much set, other than competition between players in camp, or is there a chance of another deal or signing?
Derrick Hall: I believe the roster is set for the most part. To have seven or eight guys battling for five rotation spots and 15 pitchers competing for seven relief spots, will make this spring interesting and productive. We also like the versatility and flexibility of the position players. They can play multiple positions and will give the coaching staff good match-up opportunities.
dillon182: At FanFest, what are the limitations on autographs and meeting with the players?
Derrick Hall: Autographs begin at 8:30 a.m. for season ticket holders, 9:30 a.m. for SUBWAY VIP's and 10:30 a.m. for the general public. A $5 donation will go to our foundation, and fans are limited to one session for every time in line. Each session should have at least two signees. Children 12 and under will have a separate line and will be free of charge.
gusgus23: Do you plan to have promotional items tied into the All-Star Game and when will the schedule be announced?Derrick Hall: Our pocket schedules will be out this weekend, with initial distribution taking place at SUBWAY D-backs FanFest at Chase Field Saturday. As for promotional items, the entire calendar will be listed on the schedules, but All-Star specific include an MLB All-Star pin on April 16 and an MLB All-Star garden gnome on May 21. The gnomes were a huge hit last season.
vindeaz: Everyone is talking about Saunders, Duke, Gallaraga, [Ian] Kennedy and [Daniel] Hudson as the "starting five," not much is being said about [Aaron] Heilman, [Barry] Enright, or anyone else. What are your thoughts here -- who might be a "dark horse?"
Derrick Hall: I agree those are the names being talked about. Fair to say Enright, Heilman, Parker and [Micah] Owings will be in the mix, as well. It is likely that Parker will start in the Minors, but he will make the decision interesting.
jimmer450: My kids really love the dancing cameraman. Do you know if he'll be back this season?Derrick Hall: He is one-of-a-kind. My kids love him, as well. We plan on having him back in his normal center field post.
vindeaz: With our perceived lack of power, will this be a "small ball" team this year, or do you think the perception is inaccurate? While there may be no 40-home-run guy, there might be several 15-25-home-run guys?
Derrick Hall: We hope to score more runs and in different ways. We do not plan on waiting around for the three-run home run. We hope to move guys over and get them in -- something we have not done well the past few seasons. It will change if we can put the bat on the ball. We will have plenty of power with [Justin] Upton, [Stephen] Drew, Nady, [Chris] Young and [Kelly] Johnson.
odogfan1: I do not see any exhibition games on the schedule. Have those been planned and, if so, who will participate?
Derrick Hall: Yes, thank you for asking. We have scheduled an exhibition game for Tuesday, March 29 against the Monterrey Sultanes, and Wednesday, March 30 against the Cancun Tigers. Tuesday will be a night game, while Wednesday will be a day game. We played the team from Monterrey a few years back and received some great feedback.
dillon182: In left field, there seems to be many position players able to play. But from a starting lineup stand point, who, as it looks now, would be the most likely candidate?
Derrick Hall: You are correct, there are several candidates including Nady, [Gerardo] Parra, [Brandon] Allen and Bloomquist to name a few. Nady will likely see the majority of the time, but match-ups will dictate who will start.
gusgus23: With so many starting pitching candidates, what is the timetable for seeing Jarrod Parker in the rotation?
Derrick Hall: He will compete for a spot this spring, but the early plan is to get him some work in the Minor Leagues before bringing him up. He continues to impress everyone who sees him though, so we know the choice will not be easy. We need to do what is best for him in easing him back against live competition.
Derrick Hall: We have run out of time. Thank you all for joining me. Remember, we have SUBWAY D-backs FanFest this Saturday at Chase Field, then we open our spring home to the public when pitchers and catchers report on Monday. Looking forward to seeing you. Go D-backs!