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Locastro focused on consistent play, getting back to the playoffs in 2021

Arizona Diamondbacks' Tim Locastro, right, is congratulated by Carson Kelly (18) after scoring against the San Francisco Giants in the seventh inning of a baseball game, Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Tim Locastro is the epitome of a team player.

Just look at his hit-by-pitch numbers.

Heading into his third year with the Arizona Diamondbacks, and with National League rules reverting back to its traditional ways, the outfielder believes he can make more of an impact in 2021.

“I want to help the team win any way I can, whether that’s starting or coming off the bench,” Locastro told Arizona’s Sports Doug & Wolf on Tuesday. “Going back to NL format, I like that being able to come in from the second inning on and pinch run. I’m in for whatever the team needs me to do and wants me to do. I just want to win.”

Locastro was vocal about the D-backs’ dissatisfaction with the 2020 season and said that he’s focused on getting back to the postseason.

“I think last year obviously with the disappointment of not being able to make the playoffs from a team aspect, we want to make the playoffs and get back this year,” Locastro said. “That’s our No.1 goal and once you get into the playoffs anything can happen.”

While the MLB has plans to play a full 162-game season, Locastro said he’s determined to adapt and stay consistent, especially after last year’s shortened schedule. He posted a .395 OBP to go along with a .290 batting average, both career highs, over 33 games in 2020. He also hit two home runs.

Locastro’s ability to get on base is aided due to his knack for getting hit by pitches.

He has been hit by 26 pitches in 124 games with the D-backs since 2019. For reference, the Chicago Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo was hit by 27 pitches in 2019, the most in the MLB. Rizzo played in 146 games that season.

“I’d like to improve my consistency. I think the No. 1 thing in baseball is being able to do it for 162 games. There’s not going to be 60 games like last year,” Locastro said.

“Obviously you’re going to have bad games in a 162-game season, but if you’re able to impact the game on a day where you’re 0-for-5 and you’re able to go out there and make a play defensively and help the team win, I think that’s what can separate you.”

While Locastro had a solid 2020, he still feels like he needs to earn his spot on the roster and prove that he belongs.

“I think I’m fighting for a spot every single day no matter what,” Locastro said. “You can’t ever get complacent and think you’re here forever because everything can change in an instant. I’m always fighting and I always want to continue to be like that.”

Doug & Wolf