GM Mike Hazen still believes in Diamondbacks’ core talent

Sep 23, 2020, 11:42 AM
Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen joins The Doug & Wolf Show for an interview on ...
Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen joins The Doug & Wolf Show for an interview on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station on Feb. 14, 2019. (Arizona Sports/Matt Layman)
(Arizona Sports/Matt Layman)

It does not sound like Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen believes he can prescribe a wide-ranging cure to fix his roster.

The offense is third-worst in the majors with a .680 OPS. The team’s 1.45 WHIP is tied for fifth-worst out of 30 teams.

The problems were evident before the D-backs went into sell mode before the trade deadline.

With five games remaining in 2020 and Arizona holding a 21-34 record, the architect of the team told Arizona Sports’ Doug & Wolf on Wednesday that he still believes in the talent on the current roster.

He just needs to determine why the D-backs didn’t get what they expected out of it.

“I feel like we have the talent to do the things that we want to accomplish. I don’t think we’ve necessarily executed on them as consistently as we need to,” Hazen told Doug & Wolf. “Those are things I believe are fixable from getting with the players and getting with the coaches and the front office … there are subtle things.”

“I never saw anything that would infringe on why we shouldn’t be better. We didn’t perform when it mattered. Again, that starts with me. We’re going to have conversations in and around those things with the coaching staff, and where the messages aren’t connecting or hitting. Yes, there probably is a piece to that that is happening — I don’t necessarily point to the coaches as the sole reason why the message is … not being received.”

How the team practices and approaches its work will be dissected and improved, Hazen said.

But he remains wary about reacting to individual trends in an atypical, 60-game season. Hazen doesn’t want to put too much stock into things — although he does admit other teams navigated the circumstances during a pandemic much better than the D-backs.

For his front office specifically, Hazen admits he didn’t give Arizona manager Torey Lovullo enough versatility to work with. He wants Lovullo to have the chess pieces capable of attacking matchups, something that is lacking with the current group, the GM said.

Hazen reiterated that he likes the returning pitching staff and the collection of starting position players in Arizona’s locker room right now. The bullpen will need to be rebuilt following the trade of closer Archie Bradley to the Cincinnati Reds.

A massive offseason roster overhaul does not seem to be in line with the Diamondbacks’ thinking. At least not right now.

“I still believe in this group of players, I do,” Hazen said. “I think we have a lot of good components to this team but for whatever reason it didn’t come together the way we had hoped. That’s on me, with the guys we have in the front office, with the coaching staff, to figure it out and fix it.”

Arizona Diamondbacks

Arizona Diamondbacks' Carson Kelly (18) is greeted by Christian Walker (53) after scoring against t...
Jake Anderson

D-backs tender contracts to arbitration-eligible Kelly, Walker, Weaver

The Arizona Diamondbacks have tendered contracts to arbitration-eligible players: C Carson Kelly, 1B Christian Walker and RHP Luke Weaver.
1 day ago
Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo watches from the dugout during the sixth inning of the t...
Arizona Sports

Diamondbacks fill out rest of coaching staff around Torey Lovullo

The D-backs announced five additions to its restructured staff, naming three assistant hitting coaches and two assistant pitching coaches.
1 day ago
Tampa Bay Rays' Jordan Luplow celebrates in the dugout after his grand slam during the first inning...
Wills Rice

Arizona Diamondbacks acquire outfielder Jordan Luplow from Rays

The Diamondbacks have acquired outfielder Jordan Luplow from the Tampa Bay Rays in return for infielder Ronny Simon.
5 days ago
Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates after Eno Benjamin #26 (not pictured) scores a ...
Kevin Zimmerman

What Arizona sports fans can be thankful for in 2021

The spirit of Thanksgiving is about the gratefulness that comes with not having it all, but enjoying the some that you do have.
2 days ago
Kyle Nelson #30 of the Cleveland Indians pitches against the Minnesota Twins during the ninth innin...
Jake Anderson

D-backs claim left-hander Kyle Nelson from Cleveland Guardians

LHP Kyle Nelson has pitched 10.1 innings over 11 appearances in his two years in the MLB, all of which have come out of the bullpen.
7 days ago
San Diego Padres relief pitcher Kirby Yates works against an Arizona Diamondbacks batter during the...
Arizona Sports

Report: D-backs ‘in mix’ to sign reliever Kirby Yates

The Diamondbacks are among six teams in the running to sign 2019 MLB All-Star and free agent Kirby Yates, reports Ken Rosenthal.
8 days ago
GM Mike Hazen still believes in Diamondbacks’ core talent