During his June chat with fans, D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall gave an update on rehabbing players and cited the team's passion and chemistry as key to succeeding in spite of the injuries. He also discussed the club's Draft strategy and the custom T-shirts coming out of the clubhouse.
Derrick_Hall: Good afternoon everyone. We are certainly excited for this chat and for the amateur draft that is set to get underway in just two hours. We will begin the chat now.
vindeaz: Can we get an update on Hill, Eaton and Huddy?
Derrick_Hall: Absolutely. Hudson is currently being examined by our doctors but felt stiffness in the back of his elbow during his last rehab start. Hill has been swinging the bat off of the tee this week and took live batting practice the other day for the first time. He will face live pitching and get into games soon. All encouraging. And Eaton is still in a holding pattern for a few more weeks of healing before he begins a new throwing program.
tdog19: When Daniel Hudson gets back, who will he replace in the starting rotation?
Derrick_Hall: It is way too early to predict, but it is a good problem to have. Depth at starting pitching has been one of our luxuries. As with most Tommy John patients, he has a good chance of coming back even stronger.
yougo1000: How involved are you in the draft decision making process?
Derrick_Hall: I am involved, but mostly as an observer, listener and cheer leader. I am always there to challenge positively and to act as a sounding board. But our scouts are the experts and have worked so hard. It is an impressive room, and I swell up with pride as I watch the process unfold.
karllk: Mr Hall, I just wanted to take this time to thank you for all that you and the D-backs organization do for the fans and community. I would also like to thank you for building the type of team that you have here in AZ. I have been a D-backs fan from the beginning.
Derrick_Hall: I certainly appreciate you writing this and for being such a supportive fan. Our entire staff is committed to providing you with the best fan experience in sports and as competitive team on the field.
odogfan1: Back in 2001 we had a big ballot punching party at AZ Mills to get Gonzo as a starter for the ASG. Has any thought been given to doing the same for Goldy?
Derrick_Hall: Ballot punching parties have been successful in the past. So much focus, and success, today though is through on-line voting. The needle can definitely be moved on-line, so we encourage fans to do so, with chances to win great prizes.
jamiller1: Hi Derrick. What position players will you be looking for in the draft today? Like pitchers for the bullpen or third basemen?
Derrick_Hall: There are some very talented players in this year's draft. Typically, teams will take the best player available base upon their own internal rankings. There are times though when teams need to draft due to deficiencies. With our depth right now, we do not have many holes to fill, so will likely select best available from our list.
treborl13: There seems to be a big push for voting for Paul Goldschmidt to go to the All-Star Game. Why not an equivalent push to write-in Gerardo Parra to go to ASG?
Derrick_Hall: There are several of our players who I think we need to push for the All-Star game. I would agree on Gerardo Parra. He is again performing and deserves attention and recognition for sure.
vindeaz: Does the league look at calls, like the one at third in St Louis, and discuss it with you or the umpire involved?
Derrick_Hall: They do not discuss with us, but they do have their own grading system and constantly being evaluated by the league.
jamiller1: Hey Derrick, if I wanted to work for you as an assistant how would you recommend I go about it?
Derrick_Hall: Ha! First I would have to let mine go. Should I let her know?
vindeaz: It might be time to make up a new batch of those Tony Clark inspired "Anybody, Anytime" T-shirts! It seems whoever is called upon produces in the clutch, your thoughts?
Derrick_Hall: They sure do. Again, I point to the depth we have to overcome some horrific injuries. A lot of our guys have stepped up. The players have actually created their own T-shirts. One is hilarious, reading "Relievers are people too." There is another one that embarrasses Goldy, but the players wear that has a picture of him and says "America's first baseman."
kfred12: Love the D-backs, their attitude and especially how well they are playing right now!
Derrick_Hall: Thanks. With over a third of the season behind us, it sure seems like we will be in the thick of it all year. Knock on wood. They are a true team and care for one another and like playing together.
jamiller1: I made sure to vote for Goldy and the other D-backs players for the ASG. Do you know the situation on Chavez?
Derrick_Hall: Thanks for voting, and keep those coming! I just saw Eric today and he is working hard, but we need to take these oblique injuries slowly. He sure was red hot, and I expect him to pick up where he left off when he returns.
Mike85033: Because the All-Star games has meaning, do you think it's better for the manager to choose the team he thinks has the best chance of winning or keeping fans voting where it's just a popularity contest.
Derrick_Hall: I like the fan involvement, but it sure puts markets of our size at a disadvantage. But that is why we also have roster spots that are selected by the manager. The system works for the most part, and if our guys are deserving, Bochy will give them strong consideration.
homer_heins: What is your plan for Skaggs?
Derrick_Hall: He has done a terrific job while being up and will remain in McCarthy's spot until he is ready to return. At that point, we will reevaluate and see where we are at. The same will happen when Hudson is ready to return.
jamiller1: I am the young man who was the Snoopy escort for Metlife at the WBC. Will you host the WBC again in the future?
Derrick_Hall: We enjoy hosting the World Baseball Classic and are a natural choice for first round games with the Cactus League taking place right here. We have told MLB that we will always host if they will have us.
vindeaz: Can you compare team chemistry on the field and in the clubhouse to years' past, especially 2012?
Derrick_Hall: It is night and day. This mix of players, with our new additions and the veterans here, is as strong as I have seen in over 20 years in the game. This group is very professional and it feels like a close family. The chemistry was not bad last year, but it is just so glaringly strong this season that there is no comparison.
vindeaz: Wade and Willie seem in 2012 form, Prado is hitting, Miggy is showing slight signs of coming around ... what do you think of our chances from where we sit today?
Derrick_Hall: Everyone is chipping in. It is a fun to see a different hero each game. Considering where we are record-wise with the injuries we have had to overcome, it says a lot about the make-up and passion of this team. They play hard and want to win for our fans.
Derrick_Hall: Thanks to everyone for joining us here today. Watch for our draft picks and continue supporting this group that has so much heart. Go D-backs!