NATIONAL HARBOR, Md.-
Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen has a background in player development and scouting. While he has utilized those skillsets early in his tenure with the Diamondbacks, he has also put a focus on analytics.
“The game is becoming more and more intelligent,” Hazen told media on Tuesday. “The players are becoming more and more intelligent. I think the use of information is becoming so widespread that if we’re not using it either to the level your opposition is or more so, then you’re falling behind in those areas.”
Hazen isn’t just talking the talk but walking the walk. Last week, the Diamondbacks hired Mike Fitzgerald as the team’s director of research and development. Prior to his addition to the Snakes, Fitzgerald held the role of quantitative analyst for the Pirates. .
The Diamondbacks general manager said Fitzgerald has already made an impact on the club when discussing deals at the winter meetings.
“He adds to that conversation in many different ways, and he also has experiences from a very good organization that was very successful at developing players that he may not have been in charge of the minor leagues, but has an idea of how it worked in Pittsburgh, and emulating how they go about doing things is always enlightening,” Hazen said.
Additionally, the club brought on former Arizona Diamondback pitcher Dan Haren as pitching strategist. Hazen said Haren will help compute data and trends and present it to the team. This has been a role that has fallen on a lot of pitching coaches around the league, but Haren’s role will be to provide analysis while Diamondbacks pitching coach Mike Butcher can focus on the day-to-day pitching duties.
*Will also teach young pitchers how to tweet* https://t.co/qhweUE5erY
— dan haren (@ithrow88) December 6, 2016
“Any time we’re bringing a new concept into the clubhouse while you’re going through spring training or going through the season, there are games to play,” Hazen said. “We are focused on playing the games. I think it just speeds up the integration because of that relationship because we’re able to talk to (Pitching Coach Mike Butcher).”
Haren worked with Butcher while with the Angels, and Hazen said Haren’s familiarity with the team is critical in his new role.
The Diamondbacks are hoping what makes sense on paper will make sense on the field.