ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Arizona Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale: ‘We’re going to do some special things’

Feb 26, 2015, 10:49 PM | Updated: 10:58 pm

LISTEN: Chip Hale, D-backs manager

The Arizona Diamondbacks won just 64 games in 2014, leading the organization to part with both its general manager and manager as well as make a significant number of changes to the roster.

While many feel the team is heading in the right direction, most are not expecting much of the team in 2015. In fact, another NL West-worst finish would not be a surprise to the majority of baseball.

But Chip Hale, the team’s first-year manager, disagrees. The way he sees it, his club may be like last year’s Kansas City Royals, a group he said was like a team of destiny.

“We’re going to do some special things,” he told Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Thursday.

The D-backs last made the playoffs in 2011, but since then had season win totals of 81, 81 and last year’s 64. The roster boasts a perennial MVP candidate in first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, but after him, there are mostly question marks.

Some of those question marks are related to injuries; others to young players who have yet to produce for an entire 162-game season. If all goes well for the team, it’s very reasonable to think they’ll be one of baseball’s biggest surprises.

While that seems like a lot to ask for, Hale said he’s very pleased with roster that has been put together.

“I like the players,” he said. “I think we have championship-caliber players.”

The skipper said the team has “a whole lot of secret weapons” that, not unlike the A’s team he was with in 2012, create a roster of players who will compete hard in spring training and throughout the season. Having a bevvy of skilled-but-mostly-unproven pitchers in the rotation is something he sees as a positive.

“Remember, when you end up going into these championship situations, you’re not talking about 25 guys; you’re talking about 45 guys,” he said. “So we feel really good about the depth of our organization, the depth of our pitching staff.

“I think we have guys that teams have never seen — teams have never seen our pitchers, and that in itself creates issues in the major leagues. Hitters that have been around like to know what guys throw, and all of a sudden they’re facing guys they’ve never faced.”

Hale understands why people doubt his team, but is confident there is more talent on the roster than people seem to believe.

“The process is important, and how we play and how we teach is very important,” he said. “If we get that down I really, truly believe we can do some special things here.”

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