Diamondbacks CEO Discusses State of 2011 Team

On the first Thursday of every month Arizona Diamondbacks CEO/President Derrick Hall took time out of his busy day to attend an on-line chat where he discussed the team and what fans should expect during the 2011 season.

Questions to the chief executive once again centered around the roster and the moves the team has made since finishing last in the National League West for two consecutive season. Hall was very enthusiastic with the moves General Manager Kevin Towers has made this off-season.

He spoke glowingly of the changes to the bullpen, which finished last among major league clubs last year. He talked about new closer J.J. Putz and how important he will be in closing out games; something that the team did poorly at last year.

Hall also spoke of other pitchers in the bullpen acknowledging Kam Mickolio and David Hernandez whom the Diamondbacks received in the Mark Reynolds trade as well as Joe Paterson and Bryan Sweeney. Mike Hampton will also be returning to the Diamondbacks this year after having a successful call-up in the last several weeks of the 2010 season.

It was interesting to note that Hall said he expects Towers to bring in another starting pitcher before Spring Training begins and likely another veteran utility or bench player. We can only hope that veteran is capable of playing first base in case Juan Miranda or Brandon Allen are unable to earn a spot out of Spring Training.

Besides the roster fans were also interested in the new Spring Training home of the Diamondbacks as the team moves from Tucson Electric Park to their new home Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale. Hall talked about not only the facility but the entire complex and how fan friendly it will be.

Hall also talked about how the Diamondbacks would like to honor Randy Johnson hopefully this season with the second Arizona Diamondbacks number being retired at Chase Field. There is no set timeline but both the team and Johnson are having discussions on when this might happen.

Hopefully Hall will be able to mend the fences between the Diamondbacks and Johnson much like he did with Luis Gonzalez after the two parted ways. This could go a long way towards having Johnson become a part of the Diamondbacks family and ultimately be a way for Johnson to be close to the team when he is elected to the Hall of Fame when he becomes eligible.

I was disappointed that no questions were raised regarding the proposed humidor at Chase Field. After last season it was rumored the team was looking at building such a facility to try and neutralize the hitter friendliness of Chase Field. This will be especially important with the Diamondbacks not having an identified ace on their pitching staff in 2011.

Finally Hall announced that the Diamondbacks would hold their annual Fan Fest at Chase Field on Saturday February 12th. This is an event that everyone looks forward to each year as it ushers in the beginning of Spring Training workouts and the return of baseball to Phoenix.

Overall it sounds like Hall and his staff have been busy and fans will have a lot to look forward to this upcoming season.


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