D-backs’ Torey Lovullo on naysayer projections: ‘It pisses me off’

Mar 5, 2020, 6:10 AM
Torey Lovullo #17 of the Arizona Diamondbacks walks off the field during the seventh inning against...
Torey Lovullo #17 of the Arizona Diamondbacks walks off the field during the seventh inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on July 14, 2019 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images)

Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo isn’t a fan of the projections that are negative about his baseball club. The good news is that he’s willing to use that as motivation.

“It pisses me off,” Lovullo told Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta on Tuesday when asked about those who don’t think the D-backs will be a top team.

“I’m not going to lie. It really bothers me. It makes me have a chip on my shoulder to go out there and prove all the naysayers wrong. I think that’s what motivates some people at certain times.”

FanGraphs provided one example of such pessimism; their 2020 standings projections had the Diamondbacks going 80-82 and finishing third in the division behind the Dodgers and Padres.

“Look, we want to be great here,” Lovullo said. “We don’t want to just settle for getting by and winning 85 games. We want to win 105 games. We want to win a world championship. It just adds to my motivation. I know that people have a job to do and they put a lot of things inside of a search engine and it pops out that we’re going to win 79 or 81 games, I’m like, ‘Good, go ahead. Just dare us to sit in that area and we’ll show you what we can do.'”

Local optimism around the D-backs was improved by the signings of pitcher Madison Bumgarner and outfielder Kole Calhoun, along with a trade that landed outfielder Starling Marte in Arizona.

But likewise, in the NL West, the Dodgers added elite outfielder Mookie Betts and starting pitcher David Price, while the San Diego Padres made additions in Tommy Pham and Zach Davies, among others.

How the Padres shape up after winning only 70 games in 2019 is a bit of a guessing game, but the D-backs seem confident in the way their roster came together this offseason.

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