Lovullo, Hazen discuss how having a DH changes things for Diamondbacks
Jun 25, 2020, 8:45 PM
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Among the many changes an altered 2020 MLB season brings is the Arizona Diamondbacks having to get used to playing with a designated hitter.
If you’ve heard manager Torey Lovullo on the subject before, you know that he takes pride in the extra level of strategy that accounting for a hitting pitcher takes.
Now he will have to get used to a different type of strategy.
“I’m gonna try and be as strategic as possible with maximizing our situation to score runs,” he said on a call with the media Thursday.
The added layer could be using the DH as a way to give an every-day position player less work to do, sort of like a half-day off. Lovullo didn’t quite see it that way and is going to be paying extra attention to guys’ energy level in a shortened season.
“Also being mindful of when a guy needs to get off of their feet,” he said. “And technically you could say it’s a half-a-day off but I’m gonna be mindful also of when a player looks a little fatigued. We’re gonna play 60 games in close to 70 days so I have to be very careful with what these guys will be going through.”
Like everything new, though, Lovullo wouldn’t commit too much to who is the DH and how he uses it.
“Don’t know exactly who it’s going to be but like I said we’ve got some thumpers, we’ve got some really good players to get some opportunities for some at-bats,” he said.
General manager Mike Hazen, like Lovullo, wouldn’t lean too far in one direction but is confident in the team’s ability to get the most out of having a DH.
“I think having the DH is something that is going to benefit us and our roster, and I’m excited to have a DH,” he said Wednesday. “So maybe we’ll get into some situations where we still need some pinch-hit at-bats from some of the big pitchers.”
With that in mind, that leadership duo has always prided itself on using every part of the roster and having multiple options everywhere. So, expect that to naturally help them in this transition.
“I think from a versatility standpoint, we were probably set up for this even without the DH, with our extra infielders and things like that,” Hazen said.