Lovullo Early-Season Hunch Proving True

For Torey Lovullo there was just something about his 2019 Arizona Diamondbacks team that he liked. Sure, the D-backs were already being left for dead in the National League West without the services of Paul Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock, Patrick Corbin and others but the Arizona manager just sensed something special about this group.

“I spoke to Torey Lovullo, I think it was the first week of the regular season,” ESPN MLB Insider Pedro Gomez said to Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat Thursday morning. “He did say, ‘Look, we’re going to be a lot better than people think.'”

The D-backs have done more than enough to help their manager’s fruition come true through the early part of the season. Going into their weekend series against the Colorado Rockies in Denver, Arizona sits just one game behind the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West.

“Pat him on the back,” Gomez said of the Snakes’ skipper. “He knew there was something about this club…he knew there was something about them that was gritty. He liked the makeup of them.”

Two early areas of success so far through the first five weeks is Arizona’s unexpected success on the road (11-6), as well as their impressive run differential (+23). 

Arizona has been notorious for starting seasons slow. That hasn’t been the case in 2019 and barring major injuries moving forward, it appears the D-backs have positioned themselves for an unexpected return to the post-season.

“They’re in a much better position, that I’ll admit, that I ever thought they’d be at this point,” Gomez admitted. “The longer you [have success], the more this can build up and you start to believe in yourself.

So far, so good for the local nine. 

A Valley native, Eric has had a passion for the Arizona sports scene since an early age. He has covered some of the biggest events including Super Bowls, national championships and the NBA and MLB playoffs in his near 20 years in local media.