Torey Lovullo: “We Struck Gold” with Diamondbacks Coaching Staff
Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo raved about his coaching staff in a press conference Monday. These new coaches include pitching coach Brent Strom and bench coach Jeff Banister. They also include hitting coach Joe Mather and assistant hitting coach Damion Easley. In addition, they have assistant pitching coaches Barry Enright and Dan Carlson. Remaining on the staff are first base coach Dave McKay, who also works with the outfielders, along with third base coach Tony Perezchica and bullpen coach Mike Fetters.
Very little commentary needs to be added, so here is what he said, word for word.
Impact of the New Coaching Staff
We struck gold with the group that we brought in. Strommy (pitching coach Brent Strom) — one of the best in the game. He has got an unbelievable amount of experience that he brings to the table, but it’s not that he just jams it down your throat. It is a give-and-take conversation. He relates to the kids, and the thing that’s so impressive is — same with Dave McKay — given their age, you feel like they’re going to be out of touch. They are not. They are speaking these kids’ languages and really getting them to buy in and engage.
Jeff Banister (the bench coach), for me, has been an unbelievable extension of what I stand for every single day. He goes out there and gets done. And I’ve given him full authority to step in, stop a drill, and instruct. He’s been fantastic. I’ll be watching bullpens, and I’ll look back on Field One and see him, in the middle of a drill, stop and say no, no, we’re doing this. I like that.
On top of that, we’ve added two guys from player development, in Barry Enright and Dan Carlson. They’ve been unbelievable, as far as helping Strommy get grounded with the talent. Two great hitting coaches — how we got Damion Easley, I have no idea. I think my friendship with him from many years ago may have had something to do with it. (Smiles) I think I’m just a great guy, and he wanted to come work for me — I don’t know. (Laughter) I still can’t believe that he wanted to come here when we offered the position. He has been unbelievably impactful with his knowledge and expertise. And then Joe Mather is on the cutting edge of every everything possible to help these hitters get better.
The Effect of the New Staff
Lovullo grinned even bigger as he told reporters the next part. He also spoke more rapidly, sounding even more excited about what he’s had to work with.
We struck gold with this group, and I’m very fortunate. I’m watching it execute every single day. In fact, I told them yesterday this is a time of the year where I think every manager feels this way. A little bit of panic, a little bit of anxiety because you know that you’re putting everything in your box. You don’t know if you’re ready, but deep down you know you are because you’ve worked your butt off through the end of spring training. But there are always those things, those curious things that you’re lying in bed at night and thinking, ‘Did we do this? Oh yeah, we did. What are we missing? Oh my gosh, we’re gonna get outpunched and outmaneuvered. I thought about it, and I thank the staff. Because this year, I have had no anxiety when it came to knowing what we have done.
Will we be ready? The answer is 100% yes, because of the group that we’re talking about. It’s strong.
The Diamondbacks open the season Thursday evening at 6:40 pm Arizona Time against the San Diego Padres.