Hall: D-backs’ 2020, 2021 seasons ‘almost a mirror, which is frightening’
The tone from Diamondbacks president and CEO Derrick Hall has become more urgent. This offseason, Arizona needed to rebuild its bullpen but in general kept the core of the 2020 team intact.
The team’s hope was that its performance would regress toward the mean in 2021. It hasn’t.
An 18-32 start to this season, which includes a 10-game losing streak as of Thursday morning, has Hall’s frustrating coming out.
“What is concerning is we’ve done this for parts of three seasons, where we’ve struggled and we’ve had losing streaks and we haven’t really been able to stop the bleeding,” Hall told Arizona Sports’ Doug & Wolf on Thursday. “Every single person has to look in the mirror when we go on these runs.”
“I see a lot of commonalities (between 2020 and 2021). It’s almost a mirror, which is frightening,” Hall added. “We said last year, boy we got to learn from this, we have to make sure this doesn’t happen again. Well, it happened again. … We have to see: Do we have the right composition, do we have the right roster to win to take us to the next level? If not, there has to be some sort of change to our approach.”
Injuries this year have played some part in the team sputtering. As of Thursday, starting pitchers Taylor Widener (groin), Luke Weaver (shoulder) and Zac Gallen (elbow) are on the injured list.
Relievers Chris Devenski (elbow), Tyler Clippard (shoulder) and J.B. Bukauskas (elbow) join them.
Position players and starters Kole Calhoun (hamstring), Christian Walker (oblique) and Asdrubal Cabrera (hamstring) also sit on the IL.
“We have to be able to get over these injuries like other teams have. We’re not the only team,” Hall said. “I think it’s really a time for the young kids to have an opportunity and to step up and play. In a lot of ways, they’ve impressed, but I need them and I want them to really get a taste for winning here. That winning culture has to be a big part of what we do. For the last couple of years, it just hasn’t been.”
As for playing the blame-game, Hall doesn’t want to get involved. He sees the too-frequent losses as a collective failure.
That includes manager Torey Lovullo, whose contract is up after 2021. Hall suggested that Lovullo is not the primary reason for his frustration expressed Thursday.
“It’s not any one person’s fault,” Hall said. “When it comes to Torey, I’m a huge Torey fan. I think he’s done a tremendous job, especially with the conditions that he’s dealing with. This is the same guy who was (MLB) Manager of the Year in 2017.
“He’s not the problem. I think it’s collective, it’s all of us.”