Arizona Diamondbacks ‘happy’ for their former outfielder, J.D. Martinez
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – It’s hard to say goodbye. Especially when the relationship was a good one, as was the relationship between the Arizona Diamondbacks and outfielder J.D. Martinez.
It lasted three months and produced several memorable moments, like a four-homer game, something no other D-backs player had ever done, or twice driving in six runs in a single game.
Moments are all the D-backs and Martinez have right now.
The two have gone their separate ways.
“We’re very happy for him and we genuinely mean that,” manager Torey Lovullo said Tuesday, referring to Martinez’s big-money, free-agent contract with the Boston Red Sox. “He meant so much to us last year.”
In 62 games in a D-backs uniform, Martinez batted .302 with 13 doubles, one triple, 29 home runs and 65 RBI.
Late in the season, with first baseman Paul Goldschmidt struggling at the plate, it was Martinez who carried the D-backs offensively, lifting the team clear of the Colorado Rockies in order to host the National League Wild Card game.
“We were fortunate to have him here,” GM Mike Hazen said. “That caliber of performance I don’t think we see very often, other than Paul on a daily basis…but to have somebody come in in the middle of the season and boost us the way he did—it’s something that we’ll never forget. He contributed to a fantastic Diamondbacks season.”
— The D-backs’ second full-squad workout featured pitchers throwing to hitters, though most of the batters just stood in the box to work on their timing.
For the pitchers, however, it marked another step towards the regular season.
“It’s obviously a little different the first day. But it felt good,” said left-hander Robbie Ray, who faced Goldschmidt, third baseman Jake Lamb and center fielder A.J. Pollock.
— Those pitchers who didn’t throw to hitters on Tuesday will do so on Wednesday, according to Lovullo. That includes Japanese relief pitcher Yoshi Hirano, who has made quite the early impression on the D-backs.
“The one thing that really impressed me—it stood out—was he really worked hard in the first bullpen, almost through the entirety, and then for most of the second bullpen of working on fastball command on both sides of the plate,” Lovullo said.
“When you’re coming into a place for the first time or you’re a young player and you haven’t established yourself, you tend to show your hand as fast as possible and kind of show-off, so to speak. In the case of Yoshi, he just really worked hard on the fastball command.”
— Also Wednesday, the D-backs will play an exhibition game against the Arizona State Sun Devils. None of the D-backs’ regulars are expected to play, according to Lovullo, who did announce Josh Thole will start behind the plate.
Thole, a non-roster invitee, missed all of last season after tearing his hamstring in March.
“He’s worked his tail to get back to this point and I know he’s excited. He’ll take any innings at any time,” Lovullo said.