GM Mike Hazen stresses importance of upcoming series for D-backs

Jun 19, 2019, 10:26 AM | Updated: 5:19 pm
Arizona Diamondbacks' Eduardo Escobar reacts to striking out in the ninth inning of the team's base...
Arizona Diamondbacks' Eduardo Escobar reacts to striking out in the ninth inning of the team's baseball game against the Colorado Rockies in Denver, Thursday, May 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)
(AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

The Diamondbacks consistence in playing average baseball is not the goal of any baseball team.

Which is why seven of the next eight series the D-backs play, five of which are at home, are of the utmost importance.

“This will determine where we stand come the trading deadline,” D-backs GM Mike Hazen told 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Doug & Wolf  Wednesday.

That stretch, which includes the Rockies and Dodgers twice, the Giants, the Cardinals and the Brewers, features either all playoff contenders whose standing directly affects the D-backs’ or division rivals.

“For the next four weeks, we are going to play our direct competition,” Hazen said.

“We need to create ground.”

If the D-backs don’t, or “tread water” as Hazen said, then the team will likely be inactive or possibly selling at the trade deadline, which is 10 days after the conclusion of the series with the Brewers.

But winning those series, and creating ground, means winning at home, something that has plagued the D-backs not only this season but last year as well. The team is playing above .500 on the road while falling below the threshold at home, and is the only one in baseball to currently hold that mark. They rank 23rd in home record at 14-17 while having a 24-19 record away from Chase Field, seventh-best in baseball.

“We can’t put our finger on it,” he said.

“Any good team has to be able to play well at home, and for whatever reason, we have just not done that. We have discussed it internally a number of different times. I don’t know exactly what it is, but it’s something we need to improve upon. There’s no reason why teams should be able to come in here and play against us the way they do.”

Hazen said he doesn’t believe the team isn’t focused or has off-the-field distractions.

“That’s not something we deal with [or] have dealt with over the last couple of years,” he said. “I don’t think that’s part of the issue. These guys are really focused. They’re here extremely early. They work extremely hard. They’re very much dedicated.”

He also said the team has looked into whether it is Chase Field itself that is causing an impact on the team’s hitting.

The D-backs hit much worse at home (.235) than they do on the road (.272). Their slugging percentage drops almost 80 points (.490 to .410) when coming home, and the team has hit 42 more home runs on the road, though that could be slightly impacted by the fact that the D-backs have played 12 more games on the road than at home.

“We haven’t hit as well at home, but the road teams have hit fine coming here, so that’s not something that we can sit there and point to,” he said.

But by July 31st, the D-backs will have to have an answer. And whether it be to the home issues or as to whether the team can hold itself against their top competitors, the answer will be there.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Anthony Misiewicz #72 of the St. Louis Cardinals poses for a portrait during St. Louis Cardinals Ph...
Arizona Sports

Diamondbacks option LHP Anthony Misiewicz to Triple-A Reno; Corbin Martin to 60-day IL

The Arizona Diamondbacks traded cash considerations to acquire left-handed pitcher Anthony Misiewicz from the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday.
16 hours ago
Arizona Diamondbacks' Kyle Lewis, right, scores after hitting a two-run home run as Los Angeles Dod...
Associated Press

D-backs stun Dodgers with pinch-hit homer in 8th inning

Kyle Lewis had a pinch-hit, go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth inning and the Diamondbacks rallied to beat the Dodgers 2-1 on Friday night.
2 days ago
(Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)...
Arizona Sports

How to watch the Suns, D-backs and Coyotes on Friday

It's going to be a busy night of athletics to end March with three of the Valley's four major sports teams in action on Friday.
2 days ago
Follow @AZSports...
Haboob Blog

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. lives every emotion as Dodgers fan proposes on field, gets walloped

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. went from celebrating to shock as a Dodgers fan who ran onto the field proposed before getting tackled.
2 days ago
Julio Urias #7 of the Los Angeles Dodgers opening pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the...
Arizona Sports

D-backs take issue with new Dodger Stadium LED lights

Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo didn't blame the Dodger Stadium LED lights for a loss, but he did not like how they changed during play.
2 days ago
Zac Gallen #23 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first...
Jake Anderson

D-backs’ Zac Gallen roughed up in Opening Day loss to Dodgers despite 7 Ks

Zac Gallen struggled with the PitchCom device throughout his outing, having to place it back on his glove after it fell off multiple times.
2 days ago
GM Mike Hazen stresses importance of upcoming series for D-backs