Still got it: Tim Locastro gets plunked in his 2nd spring training game
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Well, that didn’t take long.
After being dubbed the “Human Ball Magnet” for his ability to take one for the team on the regular, Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Tim Locastro continued to get on base by any means possible Tuesday, recording his first hit-by-pitch of the year.
It only took Locastro four plate appearances into spring training action to tally a HBP.
The craziest part of it? He didn’t get hit earlier in the plate appearance, narrowly getting out of the way on the pitch prior.
“Everyone was saying that I lost my powers to get hit by pitches,” Locastro said after the D-backs’ 7-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday. “Fortunately, the next one hit me and I still got it right now. Got to get the first one out of the way in the spring too just to get the feeling I guess, get the adrenaline going.”
Getting plunked almost always leave a mark, either on the body or in the mind, but if that means a sure way of getting on base, Locastro’s the first batter in line.
“I always say whatever it takes to get on base, I don’t care,” Locastro said of the second inning. “If it’s a hit, it’s a hit-by-pitch, anyway to get on base and score the run. that’s the name of the game, score more runs than the other team.”
Locastro did just that, scoring that same inning off of a double from All-Star Ketel Marte.
And to add to the bruise, not only did Locastro take the peg, he did so from “friendly fire.”
“The pitcher on the mound is one of my good friends, so I thought he did it on purpose,” Locastro said jokingly of dodgers pitcher Joe Broussard. “I texted him after and said, ‘What was that?’ But no, it’s all right. Everything went well.”
While a HBP isn’t a home run or that play that everyone talks about, Locastro’s uncanny ability to change games hasn’t gone unnoticed on D-backs manager Torey Lovullo.
Especially when taking a look back at last season, when Locastro set a new franchise record for most HBP in a single season with 22. Locastro did some hitting himself as well, recording 53 hits and 17 RBIs in 91 games. He also stole 17 bases and averaged .250 from the plate and had an OBP of .357.
“It’s pretty unbelievable,” Lovullo said. “It was nice that he got on base and that’s part of his gameplan, he’s going to find a way to get on base. He did it several times last year and got rallies started, he doesn’t care.I think he’s a fearless player and he knows what his role is, and once he gets on base it kinda starts our motor.
“He was the second batter that got on that inning and it led to some extra runs, but it’s really about putting runners on base and having guys do the right thing once they execute with men in scoring position. Locastro plays with a ton of energy and I enjoy watching him every time he’s out there.”