Mike Hazen addressed the media via Zoom conference this morning to discuss the Diamondbacks 60 man summer camp roster that was submitted to MLB. There has already been some robust discussion of this topic in an earlier article thread this morning
Perhaps the biggest news to come out of the meeting was the news that Mike Leake had opted out of the 2020 season. This was also covered by Jim this morning as well. Hazen declined to give any specifics around the reasons why or what transpired in the call between him and Leake, other than to say it happened a couple days ago. He would not discuss whether Leake would be considered a high risk individual nor would he confirm whether Leake would be put on the 60 day Covid-19 IL.
He did indicate that Leake was put on the 60 man roster . “Due to transactions that will take place in the future, there is just a timing element, transactionally. There will be something coming”
Asked about the impact of losing Leake in the rotation, Hazen said they don’t completely have their arms around how this will change their approach, but they came into camp with 7 starters originally, and now they are down to 6. He mentioned that due to the DH, they have some additional flexibility in how they may structure and use the pitching staff, but did not go into specifics.
Reporting and intake protocols
While the players are due to report by Thursday and be ready to go by Friday, Hazen said it would be over confidence and hubris to assume that the intake process was going to go off without a hitch. The difficulty in lining up all the travel, testing and protocols as players return one by one means that we probably shouldn’t expect to see every player arrive at camp on time. Other than the time for players to be tested and clear protocols, there are some international travel challenges, such as Bo Takahashi being stuck in Brazil, to resolve still as well.
Further to Covid-19 concerns I asked him since there are clearly contingencies in place that allow him to bring in as many reinforcements as he needs, is it fair to characterize the team and leagues stance as they will complete the season come hell or high water, and if not is there a threshold or number of players that might end up on the Covid-19 IL that would cause him to express to ownership and the league that he can no longer field a competitive team. His response:
The contingencies that we have in place are there to maximize flexibility, where even if guys are doing well, but are not allowed to participate via the protocols, we need to have the maneuverability in all those areas. I appreciate the question. I’m sure there will be discussions that I’m involved in at a certain levels. I’m imagining that as we are reporting everything that we are doing with the league back and forth that the league is 100% on top of this situation, and will be directing us accordingly.
I’d like to editorialize a bit here. From his comment above, it’s fairly clear that he feels they will do everything they can to follow protocols as closely as they can, but it’s also clear that the league is going to make any calls on how far they can proceed.
From the previous zoom meeting and this one, I’d also like to say that I get the sense that Mike is being genuine in facing this incredibly difficult task and displaying good leadership and humility. At the same time, as we’ve seen and learned with this disease, NOBODY is 100% on top of this situation. It’s not going to be for lack of trying their best if things go south though.
The Yasmany Tomas question was brought up by Jesse Sanchez, specifically, “If this is the end”
The one thing with the 60 I would imagine there is going to be a lot of manueverability as we go through the season. There are going to be changes made to our roster.........there were a lot of challenging pieces to put together the 60 man roster. Where is our depth, what positions are we covered in, how much pitching do we have, what positions are we thinner or deeper at, those were a lot of the factors. I don’t know how we came down on that equation in terms of the accuracy. We can’t predict what’s going to happen. There will be maneuverability. .....
I’m sure Yas is frustrated with this decision, as I would imagine any competitor would be, but the decision was made.
Pressed a bit further Hazen acknowledged that since Kevin Cron and Tomas are similar players, they chose Cron.
I asked if it was safe to infer that any player put on the 60 man roster would be a player he would have no trouble giving major league reps to ? He said “to a degree, most of them yes”, but would not indicate who which players would be less likely. Notably, Bryce Jarvis is on the roster, and it would be a pretty big surprise if he got any MLB innings. So clearly there is a development and protection aspect to this roster selection as well. Guys they put on the roster can be given priority reps and workouts in camp.
A few other topics that came up:
Kristian Robinson is not on the roster but since he was not able to travel home to the Bahamas when spring training was first shut down he has been allowed to work out at Salt River, so they did not need to give him a roster spot in order for him to continue to receive reps.
Unlike the Twins, there have not been any Diamondbacks coaches that have been asked not to participate due to Covid-19 concerns.
Positive Test Status
Two additional players from the 40 man roster have tested positive out of the 100 tests they were waiting results on, but no indication who those players are.
Silvino Bracho suffered a set back with elbow stiffness and was placed on the 60 day DL
Alternative Playing sites:
Hazen did not have info on any potential alternative sites if they cannot play in Arizona. Look for Barry Bloom article on Sportico tomorrow on this topic. Should be interesting.
Arizona Fall League:
As yet there is no indication if that season will be played. If it does come about, that would have major impacts to the 60 man player pool
The “Nashville Plan”
Hazen indicated there WOULD be a pool of players that could be signed and added to rosters but did not directly the address where they would train or play
If you have the time, give the audio a listen. At the end I asked Mike what he felt about his roster and the chances to compete. His comments, lamenting losing the part of the season they have, and not getting to see some of the players they brought in play and what they could was tough, but exciting to finally get to see them now. Give it a listen to the end.