D-backs’ Lovullo ready to fill critical roles on coaching staff

Oct 9, 2021, 6:05 AM | Updated: 9:28 am
Manager Torey Lovullo #17 of the Arizona Diamondbacks signals from the dugout during the second inn...
Manager Torey Lovullo #17 of the Arizona Diamondbacks signals from the dugout during the second inning of the MLB game against the San Francisco Giants at Chase Field on July 01, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo retained his job with a one-year extension prior to the end of the season, but following a 52-110 season, his staff will see a shakeup as the team gets ready for 2022.

Speaking with media for the first time about changes to his staff, Lovullo confirmed the team will be looking to replace pitching coach Matt Herges, bench coach Luis Urueta, quality control and catching coach Robby Hammock, as well as hiring a new hitting coach.

“We won 52 games, we got to teach better in certain areas,” Lovullo said.

The D-backs manager said the decisions to move on from certain coaches were very difficult. While the organization may be looking to fill certain positions with new faces, a few coaches relieved from their current duties could remain with the organization.

Lovullo confirmed that Urueta will move to the MLB staff and still remain a part of the club’s decision-making process. However, Lovullo felt like he needed a different type of personality as his bench coach. He said Urueta and himself are too similar as people, and he’s looking for an opposite of him to “fill his gaps.”

As for Herges, Lovullo said that he is someone they want to keep within the organization, but didn’t go into detail. Lovullo said he is looking to bring on multiple pitching coaches.

“He was willing to learn, he was grasping concepts … I’m just looking for a new voice and a new direction,” the D-backs skipper said of Herges.

Lovullo seems keened in on making a hire at hitting coach that will have new philosophies and outlooks for the bats. Previous hitting coaches Rick Short and Drew Hedman were reported not to be returning, but Lovullo hasn’t ruled them out entirely for the position.

However, he said the hitting coach will have a lot more responsibility with the major league level. Ideally for Lovullo, he wants to hire a head hitting coach who focuses primarily on the D-backs, while their assistants work on player development at the Minor League level.

Set to be a busy October, Lovullo says this offseason will be his busiest as manager of the D-backs in terms of filling his staff. He is looking to finalize his staff as quickly as possible, and not even worry about the league’s collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that is set to expire on Dec. 1.

“I’m not even concerned with that (CBA), I want to get this thing nailed down as fast as possible,” he said. “Get my staff before me, talk to them about what they’re thinking, talk to them about my values, and my vision and get this pumping … It’s been a long, tough year and I want to start moving forward as fast as possible.”

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