D-backs David Peralta, Jake Lamb showing progress against southpaws

Mar 12, 2018, 4:06 PM
(AP Photo/Ralph Freso)...
(AP Photo/Ralph Freso)
(AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

Last year, the Arizona Diamondbacks addressed their issues hitting left-handed pitching by trading for J.D. Martinez midseason.

With the slugger leaving for Boston, manager Torey Lovullo hopes his lineup, the core of which looks like it will be largely the same as 2017, will be able to improve through simple growth.

“Hopefully, the guys are a year better and a year more experienced,” he said. “That’ll be a natural evolution as to being a little bit better against anybody.”

Lovullo has already seen progress in two left-handed hitters: left fielder David Peralta and third baseman Jake Lamb.

Last season, Peralta had more than 100 at-bats against southpaws for the first time in his career. He hit .269 against them – well below his mark against right-handed pitchers, but nevertheless an improvement over previous years.

The manager went a step further with Peralta, calling him a potential everyday leadoff hitter.

“He’s just a very, very solid hitter versus lefties and righties with a great approach and he does everything you want a leadoff hitter to do,” Lovullo said.

A good base runner with the ability to drive the ball, Peralta could be a useful bat to have at the top of the order. Speedy newcomer Jarrod Dyson is a more traditional option to leadoff the game, but he only had 55 at-bats against lefties last season. It was his most since 2012, when he had 63 at-bats.

He hit .145 against them.

Hitting lefties is one of Jake Lamb’s final hurdles to becoming a premier third baseman. Despite posting all-star type numbers over the last two years, he has hit for an abysmal .159 against southpaws in his career. Lovullo has seen progress this spring, though.

“The feel and the ideas that he’s getting and talking about make me think that he’s connecting some more dots,” Lovullo said. “These guys have to spend time through the experience of learning, whether they’re good or bad moments, or ups and downs, they continue to press on.”

Penguin Air

Arizona Diamondbacks

Corbin Carroll #7 of the Arizona Diamondbacks high fives teammates after defeating the Philadelphia...
Alex Weiner

D-backs get 4 prospects on MLB’s top 100 list, headlined by Corbin Carroll

The Diamondbacks were one of two teams with three prospects on the top 15 of MLB Pipeline's top 100 prospects list for 2023. 
18 hours ago
Jeurys Familia of the Boston Red Sox delivers during the tenth inning of a game against the New Yor...
Torrence Dunham

D-backs reportedly sign veteran reliever Jeurys Familia to minor league deal

The Arizona Diamondbacks appear to be adding depth to the bullpen with the reported signing of veteran reliever Jeurys Familia to a minor league deal.
3 days ago
Scott Rolen #17 of the Philadelphia Phillies prepares for a ground ball during a baseball game agai...
Associated Press

8-time Gold Glove 3B Scott Rolen elected into baseball Hall of Fame

Slick-fielding third baseman Scott Rolen was elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame on Tuesday with five votes to spare above the 75% needed.
4 days ago
Owner Arte Moreno of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim walks off the field prior to a baseball game...
Associated Press

Arizona native Arte Moreno takes Angels off market to continue as owner

Arizona native Arte Moreno took the Angels off the market on Monday after announcing his plan to explore a sale of the team last August.
5 days ago
Scott McGough #39 of Team United States pitches during the baseball opening round Group B game betw...
Alex Weiner

D-backs RHP Scott McGough credits development of splitter for MLB opportunity

The Arizona Diamondbacks signed Scott McGough in December to be a back-end reliever with a dangerous splitter. 
6 days ago
(Twitter screenshot/@ASU_Baseball)...
Arizona Sports

Arizona State baseball legend Sal Bando dies at 78

Arizona State baseball legend Sal Bando, a College World Series and three-time World Series champion, has died at the age of 78.
7 days ago
D-backs David Peralta, Jake Lamb showing progress against southpaws