Last week, we asked you to grade Torey Lovullo as manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks - particularly, in regard to his performance this season. There were a broad range of opinions expressed, both in the comments and in the overall survey results. While nobody admitted to grading him at either extreme end of the spectrum, there were comments in the middle. So here are some fairly well-thought out ex
The only really talented guys in their proverbial “primes” are Gallen and Ketel, who I guess have been mildly/somewhat disappointing, but the rest of roster is mostly journeymen and not-quite-ready-for-prime-timers. Even Marte’s a physical basket case. Not sure that’s Lovullo’s fault. Can’t give Torey an A when the team’s played so much non-competitive baseball since pandemic, but compared to more successful and talented teams, his squad actually runs the bases intelligently and plays pretty good defense. They just don’t pitch very well and, of course, can’t hit worth a damn. Good luck competing with that.
He’s squeezed as much as he can out of this lineup from a strategy standpoint but the lack of offense can not be ignored. I think Torey shares some of the blame for the lack of offense. While we might want to fire the hitting coaches, Torey was involved in their hiring and any hitting approach they try to teach comes from Torey first. I want to see if any of the young pitching prospects show potential. For me the grade is incomplete in that area.
Lovullo frequently allows his pitchers, both starting and relievers, to get in too much trouble before getting someone up in the bullpen. He has allowed this to happen with the same usual suspects on multiple occasions now. The excuse that, “he’s allowing them to pitch themselves out of trouble,” just doesn’t hold water with me anymore. He doesn’t seem capable of pulling the plug when it’s absolutely time to. That seems to be a key managerial trait to me.Putting a guy who’s hitting around .100 in as the DH, or sending one in to pinch hit in high leverage situations is also not a recipe for success. That’s something that he seems perfectly willing to repeat often. He could get some help from Hazen, but it appears that the cavalry is not coming anytime soon.
And here are the overall results:
That’s a fairly even split: plus or minus a handful of percent, that’s one-third at a ‘C’ grade, with one-third higher and one-third lower. The above three comments cover the grades awarded by better than five in six of those who voted (84%), so seems a good spectrum of opinions. I think it’s probably fair to say that he is getting some credit for the team having done better than they did in 2021, but there’s not much doubt about the large amount still to be done. With the team currently exactly at the half-way mark of the campaign, it might be interesting to revisit this question at the end of the season, and see if opinions have changed, based on performance during the second half.
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