Lovullo explains why D-backs gave extended rest to Greinke, Ray
Robbie Ray’s start on Tuesday against the Cincinnati Reds will end a 12-day break from competitive pitching.
Diamondbacks teammate Zack Greinke will likewise be 12 days removed from his last start when he pitches Wednesday. With Arizona coming off a three-game sweep against the Braves and having lost 11 of its past 14 games, it was a wonder why manager Torey Lovullo opted against riding the team’s two best arms to begin the second half of 2017.
Simply put, it was about allowing Greinke (11-4, 2.86 ERA) and Ray (8-4, 2.97 ERA) to perform during the All-Star game.
“The thought process was, knowing that they were potentially All-Stars, we were 10 days, two weeks ahead of things with our rotation with some of our thoughts,” Lovullo told Burns and Gambo on 98.7 FM, Arizona’s Sports Station. “And once they were All-Stars, we wanted to allow them to go there and perform — do whatever was asked of them by Joe Maddon and his group to help the National League win that game — and then come back with the right amount of rest.”
Greinke and Ray will be more than rested assuming they didn’t go overboard with bullpen sessions over the last 12 days.
In the All-Star game, Greinke pitched one inning while Ray didn’t make an appearance.
Despite that limited usage, Lovullo didn’t want to change the plan and disrupt what the other three starters — Taijuan Walker, Patrick Corbin and Zack Godley — were preparing for out of the break.
“We didn’t want to reverse things and treat anybody unfairly. We wanted to keep it as it was — as it was scripted — instead of juggling something because of the outcome and the lack of use in the All-Star game,” Lovullo said.
“It could have happened where (Greinke and Ray) did pitch a lot, and we wanted to safeguard ourselves against that.”
WHAT’S GONE WRONG?
“My assessment over the past two weeks has been getting runners on base and then just not producing that big hit to blow open an inning or to get that big hit to extend an inning — or just to do something to tack on a couple runs. For the first several months of the year, we were getting that big hit and having big innings.” — Lovullo on why the D-backs have lost 11 of 14