Hall chats about new direction with fans
Club president fields questions during online chat
During his monthly chat with fans, D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall said the top priority is pitching and that general manager Kevin Towers plans to address the bullpen and add a starter during the offseason. He also discussed D-backs pitchers to watch in the Arizona Fall League and what fans can expect next season at Chase Field.
Derrick Hall: Welcome to today's chat. It has been busy around here as you all know, but the dust is beginning to settle. I just came upstairs from watching the Instructional League game here between the D-backs and the Rockies. Jarrod Parker was extremely impressive.
odogfan1: I saw that Glenn Sherlock and Matt Williams will be back next year, but can you tell me if Jeff Motuzas will also return?Hall: Yes, Jeff will be back as our bullpen catcher. We are really excited to have Matt and Glenn back and I know Kevin and Kirk are compiling an impressive list of coaching candidates.
scout01: Will the coaching staff decisions be Gibson's alone, or will others in the front office have a say regarding the new staff?
Hall: The decisions will ultimately be made by Gibby, but Kevin will work closely with him on the candidate list and the interviews. The two of them will put together a solid staff.
rasvegas1: Derrick, I have an enormous amount of respect for you because of how you handle yourself and how you treat fans. How are "we" looking for 2011?
Hall: I greatly appreciate the compliment. Our entire staff cares deeply for our fans. We are often named the most fan-friendly team in all of sports, which is a tremendous point of pride for all of us. Now we need to get to our winning ways to go along with our fan treatment.
odogfan1: I drove by the new Spring Training facility this past weekend and it is really looking great. How soon will season ticket holders be able to choose seats for next year?
Hall: We will come out with our pricing within about a month, and then begin the sales process. Tucson spring season ticket holders will have first priority, followed by our season ticket holders and then the general public.
rox08: What is the latest update with the new Spring Training facility in Scottsdale?
Hall: The site is coming along nicely and right on schedule. It looks fantastic, and as I have said several times, it will be the best in the game. It has been an absolute pleasure working with the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community and the Colorado Rockies. I believe our fans will be blown away.
pbblanco: Will the batting coaches be working with Justin Upton on learning to just make contact and place the ball out there, rather than always trying to swing for a home run?
Hall: The philosophy will definitely change with a new staff and a new hitting coach, but I would not place blame on our last staff. The players need to take a different approach and will under Gibby with a Spring Training of his own. We need to break up the strikeouts for sure, be it by new approach or by player personnel moves.
scout01: When will tickets for the All-Star Game go on sale to D-backs fans in the area?
Hall: Those tickets will not go on sale until after the season starts. MLB is working on all logistics, including pricing, at this time.
odogfan1: What are your expectations of the pitchers going to Fall League? Are they just looking for extra innings or do they need to work on specific things?
Hall: Those are usually some of our best, depending on age and service time. They are definitely working on pitches and production. In some cases, such as Jarrod Parker's, we would not want him to have the innings, so decided he will not go. Our pitchers include Josh Collmenter, Bryan Shaw, Daniel Stange, and Bryan Woodall. I would encourage all of our fans to get out to Fall League games. It is a great experience.
dbaxemce: When the season ends, do coaches and staff suggest offseason areas to individual players to work on? For example, Player A, you should spend the winter working on your fielding ...
Hall: Most definitely. For example, Chris Young went into last season with a checklist. He worked out all offseason long in Houston and here in Arizona and ironed out the issues. After the season he just had, we can all see the importance of going into an offseason with a game plan.
af26259572: If the on field product even approached the product delivered by the account reps, we would be in the playoffs every year. Renewed for one more year hoping for a better on field experience. Don't have to win them all, but I need to think we have a chance.
Hall: I appreciate that comment. Our season ticket service reps are the absolute best. Thanks for sticking with us. The last two seasons have been unacceptable, and obvious cause for the many changes we made. Believe me, I want to contend and win every season.
Cinamngrl: Considering the past injuries, trades and bullpen issues, will pitching be the major focus of the 2011 season?
Hall: It is the major priority. We will fix the bullpen and add a starter in the offseason. Our new general manager believes in building a staff backwards, by starting with the back end of the bullpen and moving towards rotation.
dbkmaniac: Do you have any plans on any promotional nights for Arizona Fall League games? We love the AFL and know the Diamondbacks are more and more involved every year.
Hall: We promote the Fall League in several ways, such as through broadcast and publications during season. We give our season ticket holders passes to all Arizona Fall League games as another "thank you" and to keep them connected with some of our young prospects.
Cinamngrl: Is it too late to have a moustache clause added to Gibby's contract? The horseshoe 'stache really fits and, I believe, contributed greatly to his first win as a skipper.
Hall: Too funny! I told him I wanted it back so that we could sell a Gibby Stache in the Team Shops. It would be a hot item.
nanckj: Will you try to keep Kelly Johnson?
Hall: Kelly is under control with us for another season, and the plan at this time is to see him in a D-back uniform come Opening Day. He had a terrific season and I know he likes it here in Arizona.
rox08: Will the Legends Race be back for the 2011 season?
Hall: Yes it will. The Legends Race has become a mainstay. The feedback from our fans was great, and there are even grass roots sites out there now like letgraciewin.com.
otaku007: What should the fans look forward to next season from this organization
Hall: They can always count on superb fan treatment at a beautiful ballpark. It is a big year with the new Spring Training home, the All-Star Game, and the 10th anniversary of our World Series title. They can also expect to see better results on the field. Kevin Towers is bound and determined to get us back to greatness and he has much experience in constructing rosters and building championship bullpens.
bensanchez: Is there any possibility that Jarrod Parker will be able to earn a rotation spot out of Spring Training next year?
Hall: Probably not. He looks terrific, but we will want him to begin the season in the Minors to get back in the groove. He looked great today, throwing two scoreless innings while consistently hitting mid to upper 90's on his fastball. He is a special talent.
dlj108951: Just wanted to say thanks for an awesome experience after the last game on Sunday being able to go down on the field and take pictures and all the other activities that were going on. It took out some of the pain of it being the last game.
Hall: Thanks. That is the second year in a row now that we have done so. I enjoy having the players and staff there to thank our fans for their support. Over two million fans after two-plus poor performing seasons speaks remarkably towards our fans. Now we just need to win for you, and we will.
Hall: We are all out of time. I want to thank you again for joining us. This should be a fun-filled off-season. I look forward to connecting and catching up next month. Go D-backs!
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.