Torey Lovullo: Diamondbacks staff already ‘in baseball mode’

Mar 11, 2022, 2:48 PM
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)

A condensed spring for the Arizona Diamondbacks comes at a critical point for the current leadership.

Manager Torey Lovullo returns following a 52-110 season that forced him and general manager Mike Hazen to aggressively reimagine their vision of success. Lovullo remains adamant that the D-backs will rebuild quickly to compete in the 2022 season, which began with players reporting to camp Friday, a day after the lockout ended.

In Arizona, the urgency isn’t just kicking up with players coming into town.

“We’ve been in baseball mode as a staff,” Lovullo told Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta, speaking of minor league camp that was in motion over the past three weeks. “We knew that this day would happen. We’ve been having meetings daily, we’re ready to go.”

It matters that a coaching staff restructured to better develop those in the minors gathered when the players rostered for the Major League Baseball team could not. Internal growth is at the heart of how Arizona is hoping to turn its fortunes.

How the Diamondbacks fill in the gaps after it took a hard right turn into looking at its prospects during last season remains to be seen. The lockout only froze the revelation of this year’s team’s ambitions.

“It’s like a purple bruise, right? You know that it’s there and you have to pay attention to it and you know it’s going to heal eventually,” Lovullo said of the lockout.

“It’s going to be a little bit of a challenge for us.”

Lovullo said that with a predicted 28 days to prepare for the regular season, which is scheduled to start on April 7, he told his staff to put together a training plan that fits in 21-23 days.

As a manager, he’s already preparing for double-headers to make up the shortened 162-game schedule and rule changes, like the use of a designated hitter in the National League.

“What we’re thinking initially is there’s going to be a rotation of guys based on the matchup. We’re not going to look for anybody like David Ortiz — those guys are few and far between,” Lovullo said.

“Personally how I feel about it … I know that they’re trying to make it more exciting for the fans and put up big points and big numbers. I’m all for that. You lose a little bit of the strategy of the game … now I’ve got to back into a whole new driveway and I’ve got to make sure I know what I’m doing. No more double-switches.”

Penguin Air

Arizona Diamondbacks

Corbin Carroll #7 of the Arizona Diamondbacks high fives teammates after defeating the Philadelphia...
Alex Weiner

D-backs get 4 prospects on MLB’s top 100 list, headlined by Corbin Carroll

The Diamondbacks were one of two teams with three prospects on the top 15 of MLB Pipeline's top 100 prospects list for 2023. 
2 days ago
Jeurys Familia of the Boston Red Sox delivers during the tenth inning of a game against the New Yor...
Torrence Dunham

D-backs reportedly sign veteran reliever Jeurys Familia to minor league deal

The Arizona Diamondbacks appear to be adding depth to the bullpen with the reported signing of veteran reliever Jeurys Familia to a minor league deal.
4 days ago
Scott Rolen #17 of the Philadelphia Phillies prepares for a ground ball during a baseball game agai...
Associated Press

8-time Gold Glove 3B Scott Rolen elected into baseball Hall of Fame

Slick-fielding third baseman Scott Rolen was elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame on Tuesday with five votes to spare above the 75% needed.
5 days ago
Owner Arte Moreno of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim walks off the field prior to a baseball game...
Associated Press

Arizona native Arte Moreno takes Angels off market to continue as owner

Arizona native Arte Moreno took the Angels off the market on Monday after announcing his plan to explore a sale of the team last August.
6 days ago
Scott McGough #39 of Team United States pitches during the baseball opening round Group B game betw...
Alex Weiner

D-backs RHP Scott McGough credits development of splitter for MLB opportunity

The Arizona Diamondbacks signed Scott McGough in December to be a back-end reliever with a dangerous splitter. 
7 days ago
(Twitter screenshot/@ASU_Baseball)...
Arizona Sports

Arizona State baseball legend Sal Bando dies at 78

Arizona State baseball legend Sal Bando, a College World Series and three-time World Series champion, has died at the age of 78.
8 days ago
Torey Lovullo: Diamondbacks staff already ‘in baseball mode’