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D-backs’ Lovullo gives Goldschmidt day off, Avila gets another chance

(AP photos)

It’s not a short list when it comes down to who is struggling offensively for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

When ranking those players by how bad the slumps really are, though, first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and catcher Alex Avila are at the top.

Goldschmidt is a three-time Silver Slugger Award winner and five-time All-Star that is hitting .208. Enough said.

For Tuesday night’s game against the Cincinnati Reds, D-backs manager Torey Lovullo gave Goldschmidt the day off.

“He just definitely needs a day off from a physical standpoint,” Lovullo said on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Burns & Gambo. “From an overall rest the body, get things back in line (standpoint). From an overall strength standpoint.

“I can’t play everybody every single day.”

One player that does continue to play, to the dismay of many, is Avila.

Avila is batting 2-for-35 in May and .123 on the season after hitting .264 in 2017. Enough said.

Lovullo, though, believes Avila will get out of this funk and that playing him through the woes will benefit the team down the line.

He was in the lineup on Tuesday despite John Ryan Murphy and Jeff Mathis being available.

“We cannot turn away from our players,” Lovullo said. “He’s one of 25. We’re gonna need his output, we’re gonna do all we can to give him a chance to get moving and get rolling. I like the matchup today. I think it would give him the best opportunity to be successful.

“You can’t turn your back on people and that’s not the feeling I want to give Alex.”

The second-year manager does know better than anyone, however, that Avila needs to get it together at the plate.

“He’s gotta step up,” Lovullo said. “He’s gotta get these opportunities and do his job.”

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