Arizona Diamondbacks: Lovullo unconcerned with catchers’ lack of hitting
By Mark Brown
Catchers for the Arizona Diamondbacks have a combined .169 batting average.
While the numbers boarder on the frightening, there is little concern for manager Torey Lovullo of the Arizona Diamondbacks. That would be catchers for his team and the obvious lack of production in front of the plate.
Lovullo has full confidence in Chris Iannetta, Jeff Mathis and Chris Herrmann and their individual and collective abilities behind the plate. There are no questions concerning their handling of the pitching staff, their ability to frame pitches and control the opponent’s running game.
The issue on the front burner is their offense.
Coming into a four-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates beginning Thursday night in Chase Field, the offensive production from behind the plate is nearly non-existent. Consider some numbers.
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Mathis, who started Thursday night and caught starter Zack Grienke, was hitting .121, and that’s only seven hits for 58 trips to the plate. With their game Thursday night, that was the Diamondbacks 36th contest, and Mathis has seven safeties in initial 35 contests. Iannetta is not much better. Coming into play Thursday, the veteran Iannetta was hitting .214, and that’s 12-for-56. Herrmann, coming off a solid .284 season a year ago, was hitting .174 (8-for-46). Combined, the three catchers have five homers and knocked in 14 runs for the 35 games.
All of which would raise red flags, but not to Lovullo. Before Thursday’s game, Lovullo told Venom Strikes that the skipper entertains little concern.
"At this point, I have minimal concern. My priority now is with the pitching staff and the contributions from our starters. I know we’re not seeing the best, but in the course of the season, things will balance out."
Despite two quality starts in his initial two starts in Sedona Red, Zack Godley appears to be a man without a country. With one win, one no-decision and a 2.25 ERA, Godley gave the Diamondbacks two solid starts, but no permanent spot in the rotation.
At the same time, manager Torey Lovullo will not commit to Godley as his fifth starter. After losing Shelby Miller for the season with Tommy John surgery, a revolving door of Braden Shipley and Godley have filled the spot.
Without committing to Godley, Lovullo went a step further and would not commit to a long-term resolution. Telling Venom Strikes that his decision surrounding a fifth starter remains fluid, and the organization does not seem pressed to a make an immediate decision.
"There’s no question we would like stability. The players want to know where they stand and we need to plan for the future. Regarding the fifth starter, we’re still discussing some options."
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