Report: D-backs choosing between Torey Lovullo and Phil Nevin as new skipper
With the World Series in the rear view mirror, it appears the Arizona Diamondbacks are finally close to naming their new manager, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) November 3, 2016
The D-backs have been in search mode since early Oct. when manager Chip Hale and GM Dave Stewart were fired following a wildly disappointing 2016 campaign that produced a 69-93 record.
Mike Hazen, the former general manager of the Boston Red Sox, was hired Oct. 16, and has been spearheading the search since.
“It’s very close to being resolved,” front office adviser Tony La Russa told Doug and Wolf Thursday morning on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “I give Mike Hazen a lot of credit, he’s had a really good process for interviewing the candidates. I think everybody that came in, afterward, commented on how fair they thought they were given an opportunity to show their qualifications.
“It’s been narrowed down, and the final decision is very imminent.”
Lovullo and Hazen have a connection from their time together in Boston. Lovullo has served as the Red Sox bench coach under manager John Farrell. He has a bit of managerial experience, as he guided Boston for 49 games after Farrell left the team following a diagnosis for stage 1 lymphoma. The Red Sox posted a 28-21 record with Lovullo running the show.
Lovullo played parts of eight big league seasons with seven different teams from 1988 to 1999. The 51-year-old was a lifetime .224 hitter, with 15 home runs and 60 RBI. His playing career ended in 2000, when he appeared in 29 games for the Yakult Swallows in the Japan Central League.
Nevin, 45, has spent the last three seasons as the manager of the Pacific Coast League Reno Aces, Arizona’s top minor league affiliate. Since 2014, the Aces have a 227-205 record. Nevin guided them to the PCL championship series in 2014, where they lost to the Omaha Storm Chasers three games to two.
Nevin had been rumored as a possible replacement for Hale in July when rumors persisted the Diamondbacks were considering making a change in dugout.
The former first overall selection of the Houston Astros in the 1992 MLB Draft spent 12 years in the Major Leagues, hitting 208 home runs, driving in 743 runs and posting a career .270 batting average.
Alex Cora, a former big-league player and current ESPN broadcaster, was also interviewed by the D-backs, but is not being considered for the job, according to Nightengale.