ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

D-backs aim for stability with faith behind Lovullo, Hall says

Feb 12, 2019, 10:50 AM
Arizona Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall joins Doug & Wolf for an interview on 98.7 FM Arizo...
Arizona Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall joins Doug & Wolf for an interview on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station on Feb. 12, 2019. (Arizona Sports/Matt Layman)
(Arizona Sports/Matt Layman)

It’s easy to charge the Diamondbacks with being overly-optimistic if they believe making a playoff push in 2019 is realistic. They lost three of their best players this offseason, after all.

Even president Derrick Hall doesn’t know exactly what to expect. Last season, Arizona led the NL West for much of the regular season before tumbling out of the playoff picture in September.

“September was a surprise. It was a disaster,” Hall told Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station. 

Maybe the pendulum will swing the other way with Paul Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock and Patrick Corbin elsewhere. It’s odd to expect, but Hall is hoping for it.

“When you look at our franchise historically, for whatever reason … when we are projected to win the division or finish high up or go to the postseason, we fall apart,” Hall said. “And when we’re not (Arizona has exceeded expectations). The personality of this organization for years has been: Don’t count us out but don’t talk about us. We don’t want to be talked about.”

Hall has reasons beyond blind luck to think his team can remain relevant. For one, he has faith in Torey Lovullo.

The third-year manager was extended two weeks ago through the 2021 season, and Hall hopes it brings stability to a team hoping to foster new leadership among its players.

“The greatest thing about Torey Lovullo and the biggest reason why we extended him is because of humility. In the dugout, out of the dugout, in the clubhouse, out of the clubhouse, every player that plays for him believes in him and loves him,” Hall said, adding the D-backs extended Lovullo “to show the stability. I think one of the worst things you can have — in particular with a manager who you really like and you believe in his future and you hope he’s going to be here a long time — is he looks like a lame duck.”

Humility showed when Lovullo admitted during D-backs Fan Fest on Saturday that perhaps he’d been too trusting in his players in 2018. He wondered if he allowed them to take too many at-bats while struggling or to pitch one too many batters during a game.

Lovullo’s self-awareness showed that humility, Hall said.

“It’s self-reflection, right? And it’s being honest with one’s self and wanting to improve,” Hall said. “However, he’s had so much success, I don’t think he should get too far away from what brought him here. His instincts are good, his relationships are strong, they have so much faith in him. I don’t want him to go too far. I want him to balance it well, and I think he will.”

Penguin Air

Arizona Diamondbacks

Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Chris Devenski works against the Colorado Rockies in the sixth ...
Associated Press

Arizona Diamondbacks drop series opener in Colorado to Rockies

The Arizona Diamondbacks only managed five hits in a loss on the road against the Colorado Rockies.
1 day ago
Arizona Diamondbacks' Sergio Alcantara (43) and Geraldo Perdomo, middle, celebrate after scoring ag...
Kellan Olson

Diamondbacks rally to beat Pirates, make up for odd defensive blunder

The Arizona Diamondbacks' seven runs in the seventh inning picked up starter Merrill Kelly after he was positioned for an undeserved loss.
2 days ago
Chicago White Sox pitcher Lance Lynn warms up in the outfield before a baseball game against the Ne...
Associated Press

‘Field of Dreams’ game Thursday sees Cubs, Reds clash

“Field of Dreams” gets another tribute when the Cincinnati Reds take on the Chicago Cubs in a throwback ballpark in the cornfields of Iowa.
3 days ago
Arizona Diamondbacks right fielder Daulton Varsho leaps in vain for a triple hit by Pittsburgh Pira...
Kellan Olson

Bizarre double play, replay review costs Diamondbacks in loss to Pirates

The D-backs loaded the bases with nobody out down 6-3 in the ninth inning against the Pirates before one of the strangest plays of the year.
2 days ago
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) is tackled by Philadelphia Eagles safety Marc...
Arizona Sports

Larry Fitzgerald, Pedro Gomez in 2022 Arizona Sports Hall of Fame class

Arizona Cardinals legend Larry Fitzgerald and late journalist Pedro Gomez are among the 2022 class entering the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame.
3 days ago
Tommy Henry #47 of the Arizona Diamondbacks delivers a first inning pitch against the Pittsburgh Pi...
Kellan Olson

D-backs starting pitching stays hot, Henry’s first W takes down Pirates

Diamondbacks rookie Tommy Henry continued the strong run of form from the team's starting pitching lately in a win over the Pirates.
4 days ago
D-backs aim for stability with faith behind Lovullo, Hall says