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It only takes 1: Torey Lovullo hopes lineup change brings spark to D-backs

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo met with reporters via Zoom ahead of his team’s matchup Monday afternoon donning a “Be Here Now” D-backs shirt.

It’s a fitting message for where the D-backs stand as they ready themselves for a three-game home series against the Houston Astros.

At 3-7, Arizona’s season hasn’t started the way the team envisioned entering the abbreviated year. They’ve failed to string wins together and have seen two-game losing streaks three times already in the short season.

It’s been especially difficult on the offensive side of things, as the team is averaging .192 with two home runs, 24 RBIs and 82 strikeouts. Second baseman Ketel Marte (12) and first baseman Christian Walker (11) are the only D-backs with double-digit hit totals.

But for Lovullo and others in the D-backs’ clubhouse, there’s no time to look back on the mistakes over the last 10 games. They need to move forward and be proactive, not sit around idle. It only takes one game, one moment, to turn things around. Focus on the now, not on the past.

Lovullo took that mentality on full bore Monday, opting for D-backs prospect Daulton Varsho in left field and moving David Peralta to the DH spot. A move that Lovullo hopes turns the tide.

“It’s going to give Daulton Varsho the chance to go out and play a game,” Lovullo told reporters pregame. “I’m really excited about that. He’s earned this moment. He’s worked hard for this moment, and I honestly think one push from one guy can push us in the right direction.

“We’re looking for a little offensive spark. We know what we’ve been doing the last couple days and as fast as it’s gone backwards I think one day can turn it, push it in the right direction.”

Of the D-backs struggling hitters, Peralta and third baseman Jake Lamb have stuck out more than others.

In 10 games this season, Peralta has averaged just .182 to go along with six hits and four RBIs. He’s slugging .212 and sports a .243 OBP.

Lamb hasn’t fared any better, averaging .063 in seven games. He’s recorded one hit and is slugging .125. He was not in Tuesday’s starting lineup.

Combined, the duo has struck out 15 times.

Varsho, on the other hand, has recorded just two plate appearances, registering a walk and an out. He did, however, become a pest at the plate, taking 13 pitches in the two appearances. The patience Varsho has is something Lovullo likes, the manager said.

Lovullo can see the frustration in Lamb’s performance, but adds the third baseman is working to right the ship and believes he will be back in the lineup contributing.

As for the Varsho move, it provides the prospect with valuable experience at a time when the team needs that push, while giving Peralta an extra day of rest before he returns in full capacity Tuesday.

“I think we’ve all just gotten off to a poor start, especially from an offensive standpoint,” Lovullo told Burns & Gambo on Arizona Sports on Monday. “We’re holding the other team down, we’re still not able to capitalize. It’s not a good combination. One guy’s looking at the next and it becomes contagious.

“But I will say it’s up to me to make some lineup adjustments, and I made one today, just to see if I can kickstart some things to try to let these guys relax. It takes one guy getting hot. As fast as it can go the wrong way, it takes one game to make it go the right way.”

Tune to 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station to catch all the action between the D-backs and the Astros.

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