"It's human nature. It's like, no one wants to be laughed at, right? Ninety-eight losses is not good. They realize that. And some of the texts allude to that. 'I can't wait to get started and get after some people.'
- Chip Hale
In the weeks leading up to spring training, Chip Hale stood in the outfield with the early-arriving players, picking their brains during workouts at Salt River Fields. He talked with pitchers after watching them throw and traded text messages with others, doing all he could to learn about them. The Diamondbacks' new manager is a believer that more than just talent goes into a winning team, and what he heard from his players while getting to know them has him optimistic they have the other ingredients, as well.
D-backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt will wear a protective pad on his left hand after fracturing the hand last year.
In the wake of a 98-loss campaign in 2014 and a winter in which the public persisted in leveling its opprobrium upon the Arizona Diamondbacks, the organization's pitchers and catchers reported to spring training Thursday with something of a millstone hanging around their collective neck. They sought to lighten the burden with frequent allusions to "fresh starts," quoting a number of baseball's go-to truisms.
One of the many reasons why the D-Backs performed so poorly last season was the struggles of their bullpen. The unit finished with a 3.92 ERA last year, which was good for 23rd in all of baseball. Despite no big changes, the organization expects this group to be improved this coming season with a couple of key veterans returning from injuries and a slew of young arms being close to ready for the big league level.