Arizona Diamondbacks: Torey Lovullo Seeks Consistency
By Mark Brown
Torey Lovullo, the manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks, wants his team to be fundamentally sound.
For the Arizona Diamondbacks to rise to the top of the National League West Division standings, manager Torey Lovullo asks just one thing. Well, Lovullo, beginning his first season as field manager of the Diamondbacks, may have several requests of his players.
Foremost, he pointed out during a media session on Monday, Lovullo asks for consistency. As well, Lovullo wants his team to be fundamentally sound and execute on a high level. Wins and losses will come, but a strong, everyday effort from each player, Lovullo pointed out, will get this team back on the winning track. Should his players respond in that manner, Lovullo hinted that season results would likely follow.
On a day when pitchers and catchers reported to Salt River, Lovullo’s comments were general. When asked about specific players, he deferred to a universal description of getting to know each player as an individual. Known for strong communication skills, Lovullo said he’s guided by two essential variables. That kind of dialog opens the door for respect and responsibility, he indicated.
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“There are two things that I try and do, and are very important,” he said. “First, I try to be an active listener, and second, you try and get your point across. As far as a communicator is concerned, I have to earn that.”
On the strengths of his team, a vision for his baseball club, how certain players look and how players respond from year’s disastrous season, Lovullo said he would hold comment until later in the spring.
The nature of competition will be strong, he said, and competition for middle infield positions will be particularly strong. Throughout, Lovullo made little movement toward one player in any one positon. However, he did point out that Yasmany Tomas would be the Arizona’s left fielder, A. J. Pollock in center and David Peralta in right.
“I feel great and can’t wait to get started,” Peralta said in the clubhouse on Monday. “Last year was tough on everyone, and we’re all turning a new page. I’m ready.”
With injuries to Peralta, the Diamondbacks lost a large part of their offense last season. Peralta landed on the DL three times and went permanently on the disabled list Aug. 7 with right wrist inflammation. Four days later, he underwent surgery to repair ligament damage in his right wrist. Overall, Peralta, who hit .312 in 149 games during the 2015 season, appeared in only 48 games a year ago. He hit .251 with four homers and 15 RBIs in 2016.
Peralta and other position players begin their formal workouts on Friday. Feb. 17.
Is everyone here?
Except for closer Fernando Rodney, all pitchers and catchers reported to camp on Monday.
Manager Torey Lovullo said Rodney faced visa issues but is expected in camp in the next few days. Rodney is a native of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic and remains in the process of clearing entrance into the United States.
Next: pitchers and catchers arrive at Salt River
On Feb. 10, Venom Strikes reported the Arizona Diamondbacks dropped a lawsuit against Maricopa County. In this action, it was Maricopa County that responded to the lawsuit with a motion to dismiss and compel arbitration.
Venom Strikes regrets the error.