He lost 110 games in a season, didn’t get fired, and is back to win the World Series (WS) in two years. This is the story of Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovello, 58.
This year’s Major League Baseball (MLB) postseason has been one of upsets. The Texas Rangers and Arizona have been among the favorites to win it all. Arizona, in particular, had the lowest regular-season winning percentage (.518) of the 12 teams that played fall ball, but still managed to reach the WS.
“I’ve been through some dark days,” Lovello said after Arizona won Game 7 of the National League Championship Series against the Philadelphia Phillies. Two years ago, we lost 110 games.” True to his word, Arizona won 52 games and lost 110 games in 2021, tying the Baltimore Orioles for last place in the MLB. Lovello’s career winning percentage is less than 5% (495 wins, 537 losses).
After leading the team to the Division Series in 2017, his first year in charge, Lovello has failed to reach the postseason in five straight years. The former player-manager’s rise to the top of the coaching ranks has come to an end. The firing of Arizona head coach Mike Hazen, who had hired Lovello, was controversial, and Lovello’s standing in the organization was shaken.토스카지노
Commentator Lee Chang-seop said, “Hazen went through a difficult time when his wife died after battling a brain tumor. It was hard for the head coach to step down, and it was hard to hold the head coach accountable. As a result, the team grew stronger through the process.”
Lovello has taken the team to new heights since then. At the center of it all was the pitching staff. Arizona uses only three starters: ace Zach Galen, KBO veteran Merrill Kelly, and rookie Brandon Potts. But they’ve used a variety of bullpen arms to fill in the gaps. Lovello has put his full trust in pitching coach Brent Strom. Strom was the pitching coach for the Houston Astros when they won the 2017 championship.
Lee said, “Lovello used to be clunky, but he became flexible. “I think it’s a big part of the fact that he recruited Coach Strom and gave him the pitching job, and he focused on what he could do better,” Lee said.
Arizona took note of the rule changes this year. Recognizing that stolen bases would be more prevalent due to the larger base sizes, they loaded up their lineup with speedy players. Rookie Corbin Carroll, who has 54 stolen bases this year, is a prime example. After finishing second in stolen bases in the regular season, Arizona made up for it in the postseason with a whopping 21 stolen bases.
Lovello is close to Oakland Athletics advisor Billy Beane of Moneyball fame. But he’s not a data believer, and he’s not “old school,” meaning he’s more of a managerial style coach. “I look at data, but I don’t rely on it,” says Lee. It’s the latest trendy ‘managerial style’,” he said.
Lovello was an unknown quantity. He made his big league debut in 1988 and played 11 seasons, hitting just .225 with 15 home runs in 303 games. In 2000, he played for the Yakult Swallows in Japan. So he understands what it’s like to be a player. Such is the case with Kelly, who has emerged as one of the biggest stars of the fall.
After joining Arizona in 2019, Kelly struggled early in the season. Despite his success in Korea, he was a 30-year-old rookie in the big leagues. Lovello used shock therapy. He called him into a room and said, “You’re the worst pitcher in the National League right now. If you don’t get better, I’m going to have to send you down,” he said. “I want to keep you as a starter. You have to show me that you have what it takes.” Kelly changed his pitching and transformed into a pitcher who won 48 games in five seasons.
Lovello and Arizona’s challenge is ongoing. After taking Games 1 and 2 of the WS on the road, they’re back at home. In Game 3 on May 31 at 9 a.m., Texas will start veteran Max Scherzer and Arizona will start Potts.