During his monthly web chat, president and CEO Derrick Hall responded to criticism and questions from fans about the bullpen, offense, and manager A.J. Hinch and said the front office is assessing the situation with the last-place D-backs.
Hall: Good afternoon everyone. Thanks for joining us today for the chat.
awsomfan10: What is the front office doing to help get out of the current funk the team is in?
Hall: We are assessing the entire situation. Obviously we are very disappointed in the start of the season. We expected much more going into it. There is not one person to put the blame on at this time, nor is the blame game an appropriate measure right now. An evaluation is under way as to what went wrong and how we can improve.
susanh38: Is there an ETA yet on Brandon Webb's return? How about Miguel Montero?
Hall: We are certainly much closer with Montero. He has been working hard to get back. He is currently catching in extended spring training, and we will get him off to a rehabilitation assignment as soon as he is ready, hopefully within the next few weeks.
af26259572: I have written you several letters, and while not always agreeing with your answers, appreciate you taking the time to answer a ticket holder. You are building this team, successfully, "one fan at a time." Are you worried about losing many fans?
Hall: "Haven't always agreed with my answers?!" Just kidding. Thanks for the comment. I do believe firmly in the "one fan at a time" theme, and yes, I worry about losing fans. However, I think this is the time when we need our fans most. True fans of the team will be there for them now when they truly need it. With that being said, I want our fans to see and watch a winning product again, and you have our promise that we are working on it.
TheViewFromTucson: Love the D-backs, but it's getting increasingly difficult to take the team seriously. Is there finally going to be some level of accountability in this organization?
Hall: Yes, that is exactly what is taking place now. It saddens me, because these players are extremely talented. But for whatever reason, they have not won collectively for over two seasons. Because of that, we need to see changes.
iwash22: Does Luis Gonzalez have any input in player moves? I would think that with his expertise as a player, and his knowledge of the game, that his input would be a plus for the organization.
Hall: Gonzo has not played a role in player moves, but his voice is respected and I think we will see more interaction with he and the baseball operations staff. He has been focused on so many other areas for me and has done a tremendous job. I agree that he can bring a unique perspective and know that our baseball staff will welcome it.
timmy_21: Mr. Hall, what can you promise to give us D-backs fans coming up toward the All-Star break? Sitting at 12 games out in the NL West isn't exactly how I pictured this team this year. Our bullpen is a mess right now, any word on movements?
Hall: It is a difficult spot to be in. Most teams will not make significant moves with you until closer to the Deadline. And we have questions to answer ourselves first. Like so many other teams in the game, we need to determine whether we buy or sell and how we can improve the overall picture for years to come. I hope for a turnaround, but if we do not, it would not be responsible or efficient to add to the payroll for nothing.
oscar1941: What is happening with Chad Qualls?
Hall: Chad was pitching well and had seemed to turn it around prior to his last blown save. Closers need to get plenty of work in and he just seemed to be out of rhythm. I think Chad will be fine.
asudevil2: What did the front office see in Dontrelle Willis to acquire him? Can he pitch effectively with the D-backs?
Hall: We see a guy who has had some successful Major League seasons. It seems well worth the gamble, and he needed a change of scenery. It is nice to have him back in the NL, and will be even nicer to have a left-handed starter if it works out. Josh Byrnes was quick to act on Dontrelle, and we are hoping we will get some good results.
mwsc: Is there someone from the Minors who could be brought up to give the team a spark?
Hall: We are always monitoring our talent at the Minor League levels, and if there is a player who can provide that spark, we are probably going to bring him up. We have tremendous talent at the lower levels right now after a few strong Drafts, but those players are not ready to be promoted to the Major League level yet.
AZPat: Why do we not see you at the ballpark and actively involved with the team as you have been in the past?
Hall: I am always there and walking around the ballpark. I love that part of my job. The only games I have missed were when I was in New York for owners meetings. If I am not there, that would be the only reason for the absence. I cannot stand being away when we are playing!
azcusack: Obviously the bullpen is a large concern and contributor to losses this year. What is being done to address this situation? What other areas do you see needing improvement?
Hall: Our baseball staff has been trying to address the bullpen issue all season long, but there is only so much they can do at this point in the season. Again, teams are not crazy about making trades right now, and several teams have bullpen needs. We have released players, traded players, called players up, etc., in hopes of changing the outcomes late in games.
djsalch: After watching the last week's games, I can't fault either the starting pitchers or the bullpen for the end results. Are there any plans in the works to add to/strengthen the offense?
Hall: You are exactly right. There are several losses this season that we cannot blame on pitching. Our offensive needs consistency and we need to cut down on the strikeouts.
ojey: What role does A.J. Hinch play in this disastrous beginning of the season? What role does Josh Byrnes play in this mess?
Hall: Again, we are not pointing fingers or assigning blame at this time. We are in full assessment mode. The players should also be held accountable and I believe they would be the first to admit that. They are not happy with this start and have expressed embarrassment.
Hall: Again, I thank you for being here. These are difficult times for D-backs fans, but this shall pass. We will do all we can to identify the problems, correct them and get back to winning ways. I appreciate the patience and support thus far this year. We understand how disappointed you all are, and we are, too.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.