D-backs manager Lovullo on Yasmany Tomas: ‘It’s a blank canvas for me’

Feb 20, 2018, 3:33 PM | Updated: Feb 21, 2018, 10:15 am
Arizona Diamondbacks Yasmany Tomas (24) follows through on an RBI double against the New York Mets ...

Arizona Diamondbacks Yasmany Tomas (24) follows through on an RBI double against the New York Mets during the seventh inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, May 17, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

(AP Photo/Matt York)

If anyone on the Arizona Diamondbacks needed the fresh start of a new season in 2018, it’s Yasmany Tomas.

Following a 2016 season that saw him hit 31 home runs and drive in 83 runs while hitting .272, Tomas dealt with a core injury throughout 2017, taking only 166 at-bats.

On top of that, Tomas was arrested in mid-January for going more than 100 mph on a Valley freeway.

With the departure of J.D. Martinez and coming off a 93-win season, the D-backs are relying on Tomas more than ever before.

Manager Torey Lovullo is looking past Tomas’ troublesome year.

“It’s a blank canvas for me,” he said on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Burns & Gambo Tuesday. “It’s a new year.”

Perhaps more important than a refresh for Tomas is for the D-backs themselves to get a serious contribution out of one of their highest-paid players.

Tomas makes $13.5 million this upcoming season, the second-highest mark on the team and over 11 percent of the team’s payroll, per spotrac.

That includes player options that jump to $15.5 million in 2019 and $17 million in 2020.

Even with that fact in mind, that does not guarantee Tomas a meaningful role on the team, and new arrivals Steven Souza and Jarrod Dyson will be battling with Tomas for playing time.

“He’s gonna have to earn everything,” Louvllo said of Tomas. “He’s gotta go out there, he’s gotta perform and he’s gotta earn it. Nothing is gonna be handed to the spots that are up for grabs right now and he’s in a situation where he’s gonna have to go out and earn playing time.”

Lovullo believes Tomas has the right frame of mind to succeed in his situation.

“He is very conscientious, he is very hard working, he believes in what we are trying to say and teach and hopefully it continues to go in the right direction and come out the other side because he can be a pretty special player,” he said.

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