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Lovullo on Jarrod Dyson: ‘He’s not a fourth outfielder, he’s more than that’

Seattle Mariners' Jarrod Dyson is interviewed after a baseball game against the New York Mets, Saturday, July 29, 2017, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

When also factoring in the timing of Jarrod Dyson signing with the Arizona Diamondbacks, he was not a very buzzworthy name.

Soon after reports surfaced of J.D. Martinez agreeing to a deal with the Boston Red Sox, more came later in the day that Dyson was coming to the Valley.

On paper, a look at Dyson’s stats backs that up beyond name recognition.

A player that relies on speed and defense, Dyson doesn’t pop like Martinez. Dyson, in fact, has only 12 career home runs, while Martinez hit 16 in September alone last year.

Related: D-backs sign outfielder Jarrod Dyson

It’s easy to fall into that comparison given the timing of the two moves, but Dyson will be a valuable piece for the D-backs, according to their manager Torey Lovullo.

“He’s not a backup,” he said on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Burns & Gambo Tuesday. “He’s not a fourth outfielder, he’s more than that. I think that kind of describes that we think an awful lot of Jarrod and his ability to get out there and perform.

“He’s gonna play. He’s gonna contribute and he’s gonna help us win.”

Dyson will likely see most of his time against right-handed pitching. He’s a respectable .267 hitter against righties in his career, but his batting average drops to .215 when taking on lefties.

Beyond hitting righties and stealing bases, the D-backs see Dyson bringing value in other different ways than Martinez did.

“There’s defensive runs saved, so on his feet in the outfield he’s saving a number of runs,” Lovullo said. “It’s a different way to categorize things.”

There’s no doubt, though, that Lovullo sees the significance of losing a player like Martinez.

“With him coming on board it took us right over the top and got us to where we felt like we had a legitimate chance to win and advance all the way through the playoffs,” he said.

Even with his departure, there is anything but panic in Lovullo’s mindset on where the team is at heading into spring training play.

“We feel very good about things,” he said. “With the experience and a new year, I think we’re in a good spot.”


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