Arizona Diamondbacks – Lovullo adds staff

Mike Butcher (23) was retained as pitching coach. (Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports)
Mike Butcher (23) was retained as pitching coach. (Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports) /

Torey Lovullo, manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks, has nearly completed his coaching staff

With Torey Lovullo, the new manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks, it’s all about communication.

Known as one who wants to reach out to players, in particular and members of the organization in general, Lovullo desires to bring a keen sense of interaction to his new position. For that reason, he now surrounds himself with coaches who will communicate to players on a level which is advantageous. In his desire to heightened the communication level and evoke positive responses from players, Lovullo has put a staff together which monitors his aim to teach, instruct and share.

To that end, and on Thursday, Lovullo nearly completed his coaching staff.

First, he brought on Ron Gardenhire, former manager of the Minnesota Twins, to be his bench coach. Then, Arizona minor league infield coordinator Tony Perezchica was named third base coach, Robby Hammock, manager for the Double-AA Mobile BayBears, was named quality control/catching coach, and quality control Mike Fetters was named bullpen coach. From former manager Chip Hale’s staff, Lovullo retained Dave Magadan as hitting coach, pitching coach Mike Butcher, Dave McKay as first base coach and Ariel Prieto as coach/interpreter.

“I was looking for coaches who want to reach and help prepare players to compete on their highest level,” Lovullo said Thursday during a conference call with reporters. “I want to make this all about players on all levels.”

For the most part, Lovullo went with internal candidates. The only outsider was Gardenhire, who spent 13 seasons as manager of the Twins and remains the winningest manager in franchise history. Last season, Gardenhire was a special assistant in the Twins front office, but indicated he felt an urge to back in the dugout.

“When Torey called, that got my gut going again, Gardenhire said in a conference all Thursday. “This is something different for me, and I’m excited. I have not been a bench coach before, and never had spring training in Arizona.”

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Save Gardenhire, all the hired announced Thursday were internal. Lovullo said conversations with Mike Bell, recently promoted to the Diamondbacks’ vice president of player development, was influential to identify candidates. Aside from recommendations, Bell also pointed to the strength and characteristics of potential internal candidates. After interviews, Lovullo said he impressed with answers and directions.

“The internal candidates were impressive,” Lovullo said. “These guys had their hands on players coming through the system and knowledge of their development. They were aligned with players.”

Going forward, Lovullo said McKay, Butcher and Magadan will take on the same duties as each did under Hale last season. Still to be filled, Lovullo pointed out, is the assistant hitting coach. “That’s the final piece of the puzzle,” he said.


When the Arizona Diamondbacks open the 2017 season on Sunday April 2, manager Torey Lovullo and his squad will step on the Chase Field diamond before a national audience.

Related Story: long-time coach Sherlock leaves for Mets

On Thursday, ESPN announced their national television schedule for the opening Sunday and Monday of the 2017 season. The Diamondbacks will take on the San Francisco Giants at 1:10 p.m. (Arizona time) in the opener, and telecast on ESPN2.