Lovullo: D-backs’ youth movement gradually going to ‘next level’
As the Arizona Diamondbacks look to finish the 2021 MLB season strong, the organization has taken this time to see what could be in store for the future of the organization with its younger players.
Currently 43-85, the D-backs have gone to younger bats and arms since the All-Star break.
Before the D-backs’ win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night, manager Torey Lovullo told the media that the club is getting a good jump start on 2022 by continuing to increase the percentage of reps given to younger players over veterans.
He added that he plans on speaking with those veterans in the clubhouse about increasing the workload of younger players. Because of that, Lovullo said there’s a gradual buildup that’s necessary.
“I think we’re ready to take it to the next level in a couple different situations,” he said.
Derrick Hall, CEO and president of the D-backs, said he’s seen a lot more confidence and comfort in the clubhouse as the team has gone 17-19 in the second half of the season. He said a lot of that stems from the play of rising regulars Josh Rojas, Daulton Varsho and Pavin Smith.
“It’s fun to watch these guys right now,” Hall told Arizona Sports’ Doug & Wolf on Thursday.
Hall knows the young bats in the D-backs lineup have been playing well, but the same can’t be said about Arizona’s bullpen.
“If you look at the majority of our losses this year, believe it or not, it’s been because of blown leads in the seventh, eighth or ninth (innings),” he said.
However, Hall thinks that the D-backs struggles in the bullpen has given opportunities for younger arms in the system. He said they know what guys in the organization can pitch at the major league level going forward.
“I think we’re seeing a much better team in the second half and it’s with the young crew,” Hall said.