Hinch holds team meeting to right ship
Manager tries to boost spirits of slumping D-backs
KANSAS CITY -- A.J. Hinch sat in the manager's office in the visiting clubhouse at Kauffman Stadium on Wednesday afternoon, jotting notes on a legal pad.
The frustration of another sloppy loss -- this one a 5-0 defeat at the hands of the Royals on Tuesday night -- proved to be the final straw and Hinch scheduled a team meeting prior to batting practice.
"Obviously we're not playing well," Hinch said. "The results have been subpar, so I called a team meeting to talk about a lot of things. I'll leave it at that."
There were a number of miscues in Tuesday night's loss that left Hinch looking and sounding peeved after the game.
"Last night was just an accumulation of a number of days of riding a roller coaster of good one day, bad the next," Hinch said. "I pride myself in being very calm and consistent, but at times it's not going to be that way. It's just the nature of a long season.
"It was a good healthy meeting that was long overdue. I hold myself responsible for not doing it sooner. This has been wearing on me for a few games."
When Hinch took over for Bob Melvin on May 8, the team was 12-17. In 36 games under Hinch, the D-backs are 15-21.
"The amount of time and energy that we're putting in, I'm pleased with how hard these guys are working," Hinch said. "We're posting every day and trying to get better. Every now and then we have a lapse, but this team is well aware of the situation we're in and the struggles that we've had and they take it personal. I'm a competitor and I expect a lot out of our team. It's not for a lack of skill, it's not for a lack of effort, it's not for a lack of preparation, we just aren't making plays and to win baseball games you have to make plays."
The D-backs entered play Wednesday with the second-worst record in baseball behind the Nationals. Fans that are hoping for an overhaul in personnel will no doubt be disappointed to hear that Hinch feels the pieces are in place for success.
"Our solutions are internal and we are going to have to find a way to produce better outcomes," Hinch said. "To admit that we are an 11-games-under-.500, I'm not going to do. The reality is that we are based on the standings, but we are such a better, more talented team than that."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.