During his monthly web chat with fans, D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall answered questions about injuries and playing time and said he is pleased with the team despite the bullpen issues of late.
Derrick_Hall: Good afternoon everyone. I know it feels like the sky is falling after being swept, but our results have been positive through the first 28 games. Winning 15 games in a short month of April is a strong sign, and we are not at full strength yet either.
dbksblood: In the occasion when the team has lost a couple of games ... do you give them any pep talks?
Derrick_Hall: I do so, but more one-on-one with some of the guys. We have great relationships, and I try to stay positive and motivate them. But they are professionals and probably do not even need it. But they are human, and everyone deserves a pick-me-up here and there.
srfleury: The D-backs have a great stadium and a solid team. What is being done to encourage attendance?
Derrick_Hall: Thank you for stating that. Our attendance is along the lines of what we projected. It will pick up if we continue to win and once school is out. We continue to draw over 2 million each year. Naturally we would like to sell out every game, but this is still a very young franchise.
drsnake: With the bullpen blowing 10 saves in 28 games is there any consideration of mixing it up a bit?
Derrick_Hall: There are conversations every day about all players. The bullpen has struggled, but it will not last. Every guy seems to have gone south at the same time, minus a few. But our relief corps should still be one of our strengths. These are the same guys who have performed so well over the last couple of years. This has been a long stretch for the team with a tough schedule and challenging travels, but we expect a solid rebound.
dhubert_2: Derrick, I love the D-backs and the job you are doing with them. I got to several games a year. I'm from Tucson. My question involves your All-You-Can-Eat section -- Are you looking at expanding the food offerings there? Why not burgers, nachos and ice cream?
Derrick_Hall: We work regularly with our concessions partner and review menus. This is something that could definitely happen in the future. Thanks for suggesting.
teddy1934: Really a nice article regarding Gracie being a "model inmate"! Glad to hear that, but not surprised either. Great broadcasting team with Steve, Bob and Cindy all being new this year. The games have been awesome...nail biters!
Derrick_Hall: Gracie is an important part of our history and family. He is doing very well coaching our minor leaguers, and I believe he has a bright future back on the field.
tdog19: Once Hudson gets back, who will leave the rotation? McCarthy?
Derrick_Hall: A lot can happen between now and Hudson's return. Hopefully everyone is healthy and flourishing to present a challenging decision. These are always good problems to have.
popeye266: Like everyone else, what about the bullpen that turns victories into losses?
Derrick_Hall: Blown saves are heart breakers for sure. But this team and its resiliency has also won some of those games when we blew the lead. This team is exciting and will always have a chance to win. They do not get down on themselves or their teammates. They are great at picking each other up.
bluejays2013: Hi Derrick, are you pleased by what you are seeing so far from this team?
Derrick_Hall: I am very pleased. Obviously none of us are thrilled with the slump the relievers have gone through, but we have faith in them. Winning 15 games in the first month and remaining a few games over .500 despite having Hill, Bloomquist, Gregorius, Kubel and Eaton out for most of the season. This team fights hard and is fun to watch.
dbacker8: How is the new "Seat Upgrade" program working? We tried and liked it, but had a bit of an issue with trying to leave/re-enter the lower deck if you weren't the person with the phone showing the upgrade.
Derrick_Hall: We have had tremendous feedback regarding it. Thanks for asking and for letting us know any and all concerns. We encourage all fans to weigh in as well through email@example.com. Thank you.
vindeaz: Reynolds and Bell seem more steady than Hernandez and Putz, your comments?
Derrick_Hall: Our 'pen has been overworked badly because of the schedule and the extra inning games. They will bounce back. But yes, Bell, Reynolds, Ziegler, Sipp and Collmenter have been very steady. I am really not worried about the others.
jebusrubal: What can we expect of Parra's future with the D-backs?
Derrick_Hall: Parra is so exciting to watch. His versatility in the outfield and anywhere in the line-up is invaluable. He is a great kid and I am so proud of him on and off the field. He has been making a statement and taking advantage of playing time for sure.
tdog19: Mr. Hall, Do you think Prado will live up to expectations?
Derrick_Hall: Absolutely. He brings so much to this team. He has helped change the mind set and the preparation. He probably put too much pressure on himself to start the season. He has had a couple of great games with the bat, so it is clear he is getting back to himself offensively.
MichaelJay: Kudos to you season ticket sales staff. The treatment I receive has been consistently outstanding throughout the 16 years.
Derrick_Hall: Thank you for writing this. Our staff is second to none and they care deeply about their accounts.
seen1986: Has there ever been any consideration into adding any type of baseball to the high country of Flagstaff, they are in desperate need of some kind of A-ball. NAU does not even have an official team.
Derrick_Hall: We love the area and opened up our second Diamonds Back Field there last year. We are proud to have representation there.
tdog19: Will Didi continue to get regular playing time once Hill is back?
Derrick_Hall: Didi has been fun to watch. Sad that the hit-by-pitch sidelined him while he was on a tear. We need Hill back for sure, but his return will not impact Didi's playing time because Hill plays second base.
tdog19: Will Hudson be back before July?
Derrick_Hall: He is progressing beautifully, and well ahead of schedule. There is a good chance he will, should he continue to progress the way he has.
Derrick_Hall: We are out of time for this month's chat. Thanks to all of you, and again, please come watch this team at Chase Field. This will continue to be an exciting season, and our bullpen woes will come to an end. Go D-backs!