Diamondbacks president and CEO Derrick Hall told fans in an MLB.com chat today that cutting down on strikeouts next year is essential for the D'Backs, whether it be "by new approach or by player personnel moves." Here are a few other Arizona-related items of interest:
- Pitching will be the main priority this winter, with Hall suggesting the team will "fix the bullpen and add a starter." Hall notes that new GM Kevin Towers is a believer in first improving the back end of the bullpen and eventually working toward the rotation.
- Arizona plans to have Kelly Johnson in its Opening Day lineup next spring. Johnson, a potential trade candidate, enjoys playing in Arizona, according to Hall.
- Top prospect Jarrod Parker appears to be recovering nicely from Tommy John surgery, throwing his fastball in the mid-90s in an Instructional League game today. Still, Hall doesn't think Parker will be competing for a rotation spot in the spring; he expects the right-hander to start the season in the minors.
- Brandon Webb also pitched in Instructional League action today, allowing three hits and a pair of runs in two innings of work, according to the team's official Twitter feed. John Tomase of the Boston Herald writes that 21 teams were in attendance to scout Webb, who will now be shut down until January, according to MLB.com's Steve Gilbert.