Torey Lovullo’s 2023 contract option picked up by Diamondbacks
A season after leading the Arizona Diamondbacks to a franchise-worst win count, manager Torey Lovullo saw his 2023 option picked up on Tuesday.
The D-backs sit at 60-67 this season in what was a crucial year for Lovullo, who at the end of the 52-win campaign in 2021 earned an extension, a sign general manager Mike Hazen and owner Ken Kendrick had faith in the longest-tenured skipper in franchise history.
The D-backs have shown noticeable improvements from 2021, led by a youth movement and stellar starting pitching at the top of the rotation.
Alek Thomas and Jake McCarthy have become mainstays in their rookie seasons while top prospect Corbin Carroll made his MLB debut Monday and recorded his first hit and RBI. Daulton Varsho and Josh Rojas have also cemented their roles as key pieces for the organization.
Merrill Kelly and Zac Gallen have anchored the staff under first-year pitching coach Brent Strom, who came over from the Houston Astros.
Gallen, Tuesday’s starter against the Philadelphia Phillies, owns a 2.66 ERA and has a 27 1/3 inning scoreless streak. Kelly, the NL Pitcher of the Month for July, has a 2.97 ERA.
Strom wasn’t the only 2022 coaching change for the D-backs. Joe Mather became hitting coach and former Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister took over as bench coach.
Since taking over in 2017 to replace Chip Hale, Lovullo has finished second in the NL West twice, making the playoffs in 2017 with a 93-69 record. After taking down the Colorado Rockies in the NL Wild Card game, Arizona’s postseason came to a close with a 3-1 NLDS loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Despite the immediate success, 2017 is Arizona’s only playoff appearance under Lovullo.
The D-backs would respectively post 82 and 85 wins over the next two seasons before struggling mightily in 2020.
Amid a shortened 60-game season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the D-backs went 25-35 as the team from top to bottom fell short of expectations.
Arizona’s 52-win campaign in 2021 was tied for the worst that year with the Baltimore Orioles.
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