Earlier today Diamondbacks GM Mike Hazen was on MLB Network Radio (SiriusXm 89) with Mike Ferrin and touched on a number of topics of interest.
Right Handed Bat
The trade for Kyle Lewis was to help get a little more right handed, adding some power and on base. Asked he the team was right handed enough, he responded:
"I still think we're probably shooting for more balance just because in the organization as whole too we're more left handed. It may get a little more right handed as time goes on, but that time is not here yet. I still think looking for ways for us to become a little more balanced is something we're looking to do. But we're not just chasing it to chase it , but we definitely prioritize it."
Hazen said that they would look to balance out platoons to make the lineup more dangerous on a consistent basis. He also feels the talent level is getting to the point where that should "even out the bottoms" and he expects a lot of improvement in 2023 to come from young players maturing and developing.
Starting Pitching Depth
The team saw a lot of encouraging development among their young starting pitching prospects. Hazen ticked off the names Drey Jameson, Ryne Nelson, Brandon Pfaadt and Tommy Henry as guys that can fill out the bottom of the rotation. But he tempered expectations, pointing out that these pitchers have not gone through the grind of a full major league season. He said we'll have to wait and see how they do once teams have the full book on them and we've seen the full cycle of a 162 games season, but feels they should fill in well behind the top of their rotation. (Zac Gallen, Merrill Kelly, Madison Bumgarner) All that said, he'd still like to add a depth starting pitcher if possible.
On Trading an Outfielder
With six centerfielders on the 40-Man roster, 5 of them left handed Hazen said that "Demand has been good" this group. He emphasized however that they are trying to be disciplined, and pointed out that they all have options. Meaning any of them can play in Triple-A Reno waiting for a chance rather than just trade one away simply because there aren't enough at bats in the majors.
At the same time he made clear that using resources to improve in other areas is on the table. "Looking at who we are and what we probably have to do there probably has to be some capitalization there, somewhere, in taking a left handed hitter and turning him into something else that we don't have. "
Hazen emphasized that he's more open to doing a deal for a young controllable major leaguer as opposed to a prospect acquisition, but those deals are not easy to pull off.
He said that the areas of the team he would be more likely to use that trade capital to improve would be on the "infield especially", and "below Carson Kelly", meaning an upgrade at backup catcher, where the team lacks depth as we recently highlighted. Just last week the team claimed catcher Ali Sánchez off waivers from the Pirates but are clearly still looking to do more in this area.
"He's on the track that Corbin Carroll was on a year prior", but went on to say that getting to Triple-A and carving through the big leagues is hard to do.
He is still looking to add external bullpen arms with good stuff and swing and miss profiles.