During his January Web chat, D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall gave an update to fans about Stephen Drew's recovery, acquiring a veteran arm, and competition during Spring Training. Hall also thanked fans for their inquiries regarding his health.
Derrick_Hall: Good afternoon everyone. I have had a few Internet issues here, so sorry for the delay.
garyadriel: What's the status of Stephen Drew?
Derrick_Hall: He is working hard in his recovery and will hopefully be ready for Spring Training. We have tremendous depth in case, with Willie Bloomquist, John McDonald and Geoff Blum.
27future: How does it feel knowing a strong commitment is being established in the organization?
Derrick_Hall: The organization is running smoothly, with everyone on the same page and all levels of development learning and following "The D-back Way." We just concluded initial baseball meetings with the coaching staff and baseball operations personnel. It is refreshing to see how knowledgeable they are and how committed they are to winning and perfection. The future looks bright indeed.
vindeaz: Hi Derrick, Happy New Year and hope your health is coming along well. With regards to Josh Collmenter, how do you think his big league experience vs. other teams' experience seeing his delivery for a while now will pan out?
Derrick_Hall: Josh will definitely be vying for a spot in the rotation and has earned it. He is so deceptive, that even after teams had seen him a few times last season, they still had trouble with him. He has been successful at every level throughout his career.
27future: Besides the division win and playoffs, what else was the biggest surprise for you last season?
Derrick_Hall: How quickly we turned the team culture around. We have arguably the best and most accomplished coaching staff (playing-career wise) in the game and our players bought in immediately. I was also pleasantly surprised with how well our young players adjusted and were able to contribute to the division title.
vindeaz: Do my eyes deceive me or do we have a young lineup where every position starter, save pitcher, could produce double-digit HRs?
Derrick_Hall: We are well-balanced in the power category. I like the blend of power, average, speed and contact in our lineup. We still need to cut down on the strikeouts a bit and will be focused on it.
thegoldfinger22: First things first, I hope everything is going well with your health. With that said, are you going to continue all of your normal duties as CEO without a hitch?
Derrick_Hall: I absolutely am, and thanks for asking. I am doing very well and have been back to work for quite a while at full speed. All systems go!
teddy1934: I sure hope you will keep Parra ... he's too valuable to trade, which is what it appears with hiring his replacement. Gold Glove and he gets replaced? His spirit of harmony, his bat, his glove and his accurate arm.
Derrick_Hall: We love Parra. We needed to add depth (in Jason Kubel). Gerardo will play a lot. The beauty here is how he can play all three outfield positions well. This will allow us to rest CY and Upton more now, in order to keep everyone fresh.
27future: Where are the contract talks at with Miguel Montero?
Derrick_Hall: Ongoing. I certainly hope we can come to an agreement. He is an important piece to our team and to our clubhouse. He likes it here and we love him, so we will hopefully get there.
vindeaz: Is the lack of a veteran starting pitcher, coupled with the poise, leadership and mentoring they bring, a concern? Or are our "Young Guns" battle tough and ready to be a Braves staff of a couple decades ago?
Derrick_Hall: We are actually looking for another veteran arm, but if we are unsuccessful, feel confident that Kennedy and Hudson can carry the leadership torch for our starters. Nagy is also a tremendous asset and has "been there." His leadership has been extremely effective. Additionally, we have the leadership in our bullpen from such veterans as J.J. Putz, David Hernandez and Takashi Saito to name a few.
jupfan4lf: Hey Derrick, huge fan of what you do here in Arizona! I'd like to know the chances of a Trevor Bauer or Tyler Skaggs making the rotation as the fifth starter and if so, how would the amount of innings they can throw come into factor?
Derrick_Hall: Thanks so much. Both of those young pitchers will be in Major League camp and will have a chance. They will both receive spring starts and will pitch a number of innings as part of the competition. Innings pitched during a season is always a factor and concern when it comes to young, developing starters, but those innings can often be controlled at the back end of a rotation. We need to make sure they are developed and mature enough before rushing them though, and their spring outings will determine a great deal.
saza: When is FanFest?
Derrick_Hall: Our D-backs SUBWAY FanFest is scheduled for February 11 at Chase Field. In fact, we put out a release today in our D-backs Insider e-mail.
roandell: Kudos for nabbing Kubel! [Being from Minnesota and still lightly following the Twins, if he stays healthy, he ought to be great]. But Parra was great in the outfield, too. What's the game plan for the four other outfielders?
Derrick_Hall: The plan now is to give all four playing time. Creating competition and depth is good for us and any team. We can keep our outfielders better rested with four great options.
brouh8: Are we having Dog Days at the Park this year? It'll really upset Gracie!
Derrick_Hall: We plan on doing so, so Gracie is just going to have to get over it ... or get a dog!
Jypsy_Jen: No question, just praise. Mr. Hall, I cannot wait for a new season of baseball. Last year got me too excited. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication to the team. And thanks to the team and everyone that works in the background as well!
Derrick_Hall: So nice of you. Thanks to all of the fans for the support and excitement.
thegoldfinger22: Are the D-backs planning on sticking with RyRo at third base long term, or until someone else comes along?
Derrick_Hall: He played great at third last year and continues to develop into an exciting player. The luxury of a Ryan Roberts is that he can play second, short and third, as well as a reliable outfield. He is valued.
jupfan4lf: What do you expect the attendance to look like in the 2012 season?
Derrick_Hall: Obviously hoping for an increase. We would love to get back up over 2.5 million, but the economy is still not cooperating. The team has garnered a lot of excitement though, and we are up in both regular team and season sales as a result.
Dbacker: Today's article about Miggy's contract said that we did not have any depth at catcher. What about Blanco?
Derrick_Hall: He is our backup and is a great teacher and leader. The depth we are looking for is beyond him and Konrad Schmidt in the unfortunate event that we were to lose someone to injury. That is why we signed six-year free-agent Ryan Budde to a Minor League deal with big league experience.
Derrick_Hall: Thanks to all who participated today and thanks so much for your kind notes and calls regarding my health. I am on the road to a healthy recovery and cannot wait for Spring Training. Go D-backs!
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.