La Russa: We’re not going to blow the D-backs roster up

Jul 20, 2016, 10:13 AM | Updated: 11:18 am
Arizona Diamondbacks' Jake Lamb strikes out swinging during the sixth inning of an interleague base...
Arizona Diamondbacks' Jake Lamb strikes out swinging during the sixth inning of an interleague baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Tuesday, July 19, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
(AP Photo/Matt York)
LISTEN: Tony La Russa, Diamondbacks chief baseball officer

Tony La Russa was brought to the Arizona Diamondbacks to provide leadership and stability during a time when it generally lacked both.

Officially hired on May 17, 2014 as the Chief Baseball Officer, La Russa has seen the D-backs post a 167-207 record during his tenure, with signs of optimism in 2015 having quickly been replaced by pessimism and doubt now in 2016.

A hearty 17 games out of first place in the NL West and 11.5 back of a Wild Card spot entering Wednesday, this incarnation of the D-backs certainly seems to be circling the drain. With that in mind, many are beginning to turn their attention to 2017, which, according to La Russa, is a topic of conversation these days.

As the question goes, do the D-backs need a tuneup or a complete rebuild?

“That’s a great point and one that we’re battling right now — not battling, but discussing — because of what’s at stake here and the fact is that we’re having a lousy year,” he told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Wednesday. “But it’s clear to me that the talent we have is special.”

La Russa said his pitching coach, Mike Butcher, has said the pitching talent in the organization is there, it’s just a matter of becoming more consistent.

The D-backs are 13th in the National League with a 4.77 ERA a number ranks 27th in MLB. Offensively, Arizona is seventh in the NL in runs scored, with their 418 in 94 games ranking 16th in all of baseball.

La Russa pointed to Tuesday’s 5-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, saying it was “preventable” because the three runs allowed in the third inning did not need to happen, just as there were chances throughout the game for Arizona to plate more than just one run.

“That game is a matter of learning and executing, and I think we’re on the road to getting smarter and being more competitive, so I definitely would not blow it up,” he said. “I think they’ve got the wrong guy here if they want to blow the club up, because we’re not going to let it happen.”

Penguin Air

Comments

Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona Diamondbacks

Arizona Diamondbacks' Ketel Marte, left, congratulates Christian Walker, right, who crosses home pl...
Associated Press

D-backs’ Christian Walker drives in 4 runs in win over Rockies

Christian Walker had four hits and drove in four runs, leading rookie Tommy Henry and the D-backs over the Rockies 7-4 Sunday.
2 days ago
Arizona Diamondbacks batter Jake McCarthy, left, congratulates Daulton Varsho (12) after Varsho's i...
Associated Press

Diamondbacks match last season’s win total with shutout victory over Rockies

The Diamondbacks notched win No. 52 Saturday night, matching last year's win total with more than a month remaining on the season.
3 days ago
Emmanuel Rivera #15 of the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrates after hitting a third inning solo home r...
Sam Graveline

D-backs’ Emmanuel Rivera hits 2 home runs in win over Colorado

Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Emmanuel Rivera is fitting right in with his new team, blasting two early home runs on Saturday.
3 days ago
Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Chris Devenski works against the Colorado Rockies in the sixth ...
Associated Press

Arizona Diamondbacks drop series opener in Colorado to Rockies

The Arizona Diamondbacks only managed five hits in a loss on the road against the Colorado Rockies.
4 days ago
Arizona Diamondbacks' Sergio Alcantara (43) and Geraldo Perdomo, middle, celebrate after scoring ag...
Kellan Olson

Diamondbacks rally to beat Pirates, make up for odd defensive blunder

The Arizona Diamondbacks' seven runs in the seventh inning picked up starter Merrill Kelly after he was positioned for an undeserved loss.
5 days ago
Chicago White Sox pitcher Lance Lynn warms up in the outfield before a baseball game against the Ne...
Associated Press

‘Field of Dreams’ game Thursday sees Cubs, Reds clash

“Field of Dreams” gets another tribute when the Cincinnati Reds take on the Chicago Cubs in a throwback ballpark in the cornfields of Iowa.
6 days ago
La Russa: We’re not going to blow the D-backs roster up