Nick Piecoro, Arizona Republic Published 6:54 p.m. MT May 28, 2021 | Updated 6:57 p.m. MT May 28, 2021
During a radio appearance this week, Diamondbacks CEO Derrick Hall sounded frustrated with his team’s recent performance and hinted at possible fallout, but he stopped short of suggesting one such change would come in the form of a new manager.
“You really have to blame everybody,” Hall said Thursday morning on Arizona Sports 98.7’s Doug & Wolf. “I hear, ‘Oh, it’s on the players. Oh, it’s on the coaches. Oh, it’s on the front office.’ It’s everybody. We have to fix it.”
Hall lamented the fact that the Diamondbacks have stumbled for long stretches for several years in a row and seemed to suggest the team’s core might need to be reassembled. He noted how the organization gave last year’s roster a mulligan of sorts due to the strangeness of the season, but he said he was alarmed at how similarly this year has played out.
“I see a lot of commonalities,” Hall said. “It’s almost a mirror, which is frightening, right? We said last year, ‘We have to learn from this. We have to figure out how to make sure this doesn’t happen again.’ Well, it happened again, right?
“It goes back to my point from before the season: This is an important season. We have to see if we have the right composition. Do we have the right roster to win, to take us to that next level? And if not, there has to be some sort of change to our approach.”
When asked if that change might be replacing manager Torey Lovullo, Hall was adamant in saying no.
“When it comes to Torey, I’m a huge Torey fan,” Hall said of Lovullo, who is in the final year of his contract. “I think he’s done a tremendous job, especially with the conditions he’s dealing with. This was the same guy who was Manager of the Year in 2017. He’s not the problem. I think it’s collective. It’s all of us. We’ll get out of it. I’m telling you: There are better days ahead.”
The Diamondbacks entered Friday night’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals riding an 11-game losing streak and having lost 20 of 23 games. At 18-33, they were in last place in the National League West and owned the second-worst record in baseball.
Hall mentioned multiple times how much more season remains, but that thinking is in contrast to a remark made earlier in the week by General Manager Mike Hazen, who noted that the front office might need to chart a course in advance of the trade deadline sooner than later.
The Diamondbacks have had a number of devastating injuries, including losing three starting pitchers and, at various points, five everyday position players. Hall acknowledged those losses but would not say they explained the club’s brutal play of late.
“We have to be able to get over these injuries like other teams have,” Hall said. “We’re not the only team.”
First baseman Christian Walker went 2 for 5 with a homer and three RBIs in his third rehab game for Triple-A Reno on Thursday. Lovullo said Walker was scheduled to play again on Friday night at which point the club would “see where he’s at.”
That could mean Walker could be back as soon as Saturday, though given the way the team tends to handle rehab stints, Walker likely would not be in the starting lineup that quickly after playing back-to-back games in Reno.
Walker is on his second injured list stay due to a strained right oblique. He has yet to get going at the plate during either of his stints on the roster, going 13 for 64 (.203) with two doubles and home run.
Right-hander Matt Peacock, who was scratched from his start Thursday due to illness, was expected back at the ballpark on Friday, Lovullo said, adding that he would like Peacock to throw a side session before the team determined when he would start next. The team has Sunday’s start listed as “TBA.”
Follow Nick Piecoro’s coverage all season. Get unlimited digital access today for only $1 a week. Special introductory offer for new subscribers only.