D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall participated in his March web chat with fans. He answered questions about which prospects are shining in Spring Training and who are most likely to be called up. Hall talked about his optimism for this season and the importance off getting off to a fast start.
Hall: Good afternoon everyone. Thanks for joining me for today's chat. We will get started in a few seconds.
manteifan: This is the 10th year anniversary of the World Series Win. What plans do you have to celebrate that season?
Hall: We are planning an entire celebration weekend. We will have it take place during the weekend of September 11, which is appropriate timing for what took place that season. We will bring the team back for a reunion, will have a replica ring giveaway on the Saturday night, and will be turning back the clock with some of our old uniforms.
scout01: Do you sense a new attitude or change in the club as they have taken the field and started Spring Training?
Hall: Most definitely. Gibby has this team focused and they are working hard. There is a strong and positive vibe. In fact, there is absolutely no negativity and the entire organization is on the same page. The culture in the clubhouse is changing right before our eyes.
Vieve: Why do the All-Star tickets have to be paid for so far in advance? Some of us are still paying for our season. Can't we spread out the payments at least?
Hall: We can check with Major League Baseball. They control the game, including all pricing and timing. But we will look into it.
dmachine: How is Micah Owings coming along in spring and will he make the squad as possible bench player?
Hall: He is competing, that's for sure. He would be the first to tell you that he had a shaky first outing, but he looked terrific in his second outing last night against the Giants. He is an exciting player and can still handle that bat with the best of them.
Brenly2001: What more does Hemond have to do to earn his bobblehead? Bat leadoff?
Hall: One of the better questions ever posted! Love it ... as I do Roland. We are so proud of him and cannot wait to be in Cooperstown with him this summer for his special day.
scout01: What prospects are looking good so far this spring?
Hall: There are many bright spots. Our younger payers who are finishing our games have been battling and grinding. A.J. Pollock has looked great in center field and at the plate. Jarod Parker is impressing everyone in camp, as was expected, and Paul Goldschmidt, Marc Krauss and Josh Collmenter have been very good, to name a few. Our talent at the minor league levels has really improved.
dbacks1985: Which prospects from the Diamondbacks' farm system do you view as most likely to be called up this year, and who are you most looking forward to see make it to the Show this year?
Hall: I would say Wade Miley and Jarrod Parker have the best chances of getting here soon. And once they arrive, they will likely be mainstays in the rotation for years to come.
gonzogame7: Seeing at how well Paul Goldschmidt is doing in spring, do you expect him to be called up sometime this season? Maybe towards the end?
Hall: He is definitely talented, but was just at Single-A last season. He will need more time in the Minors. He has unbelievable power.
Brenly2001: Thanks for the SPF30@Talking Stick. A few strategic dabs, and hurtling down your CF alp was pure E-ticket!!
Hall: That is awesome. The fans are loving the new complex and stadium and we have heard great feedback about the sunscreen. Those lawns are widely popular. Thanks for going and enjoying.
egboyz29: What do you think of David Hernandez so far?
Hall: He has pitched great. High velocity and effective secondary pitches. He is getting guys out, which is what we have needed for the past few years.
nanocean: Gibby is the best and believe the new coaches will bring us back. Do you believe we will end up in the bottom as MLB is predicting this year?
Hall: I think it will be good to fly below the radar, so with low expectations, we could shock some people. I do not believe we will end in the cellar, but I didn't think we would the last couple of seasons either to be honest. We have improved this team through Kevin Towers' work. He eliminated a lot of the strikeouts in our lineup, brought in veteran leadership, and built a bench and bullpen. Gibby is great, I agree, and we have one of the best coaching staffs in the game.
dbacks1985: When I go to games, I love to keep score. It seems like it's becoming a lost art, and I know in years past, the Diamondbacks held scoring tutorials during games once a month. Any plans to reinstate programs like that this year?
Hall: Absolutely. We have scoring lessons conducted by Greg Schulte each year. We highly encourage fans to keep score. In fact, we include it in our free game day magazine at Chase Field and post scoring results on our video board.
jamesdean1952: Hi Derrick, I recently bought two MLB All-Star strips and emailed to find out when they would be sent out since I have been billed. Any idea?
Hall: You will receive them in the mail in the beginning of June.
mike85055: Brandon Allen is he pretty much a lock to stay in the bigs?
Hall: There is great competition. He has looked good but so have Russell Branyan, Xavier Nady, and Juan Miranda. These will be difficult decisions for our staff.
dfreeman: Gerardo Parra is my favorite D-back but I get the feeling he is always on the bubble. How does he look this season?
Hall: He is looking good. He showed off that great arm last night by gunning a runner out at home from right field. He is one of the hardest workers in camp this spring. He is one of the first to arrive in the weight room at 6:00 every morning.
cy24fan: First off, thank you so much for being one of the only teams in baseball that are more fan friendly than anything. Second I'm entering my season as a season ticket holder and my rep is amazing. Third, any thoughts of persuing another power stick in the line up?
Hall: Thanks for your season ticket support and your nice comments. I believe we care more for our fans than any team and that will never change. As for power, we are showing some good signs with Miranda, Nady, Johnson, Branyan, and Upton so far. And we know we will get power production from Drew, Young, and Montero as well. We should be fine.
jamesdean1952: I wanted to say how much we enjoy D-backs FanFest. Any chance we could have the autograph lines sit in the seats like we did a couple seasons back. Standing for hours on end is tough on your dear "old" fans.
Hall: That is a good suggestion. We will make that a consideration during next year's planning. FanFest keeps getting bigger and bigger and I believe we do it better than any other team in MLB.
edbaby: Do you feel optimistic about the new season and new players acquired?
Hall: I do feel optimistic, yes. I like what I have seen from this team so far. And they are a team. Gibby and the coaching staff are changing the environment and I believe that will make a tremendous difference. We will need to have some breaks go our way and stay healthy, but I am confident we can compete and contend. We have started too slow the past couple of years and could never catch up. We need to get off to a good start in the first month -- despite having one of the most difficult schedules in April -- and we need to close games when we have a lead. Wouldn't that be nice, and different?
Hall: We are out of time for today's chat. I would like to thank everyone who took the time today to join me. I hope to see you at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick and then at Chase Field for the 2011 season. Go D-backs!
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.