SURPRISE – In Torey Lovullo, the Arizona Diamondbacks are getting a hard-working manager who will quickly gain the respect of his players, according to a member of the Boston Red Sox organization taking part in the Arizona Fall League at Surprise Stadium on Friday.
The Diamondbacks announced that Lovullo, bench coach of the Boston Red Sox, will take the helm as manager in Arizona, continuing a baseball pipeline from Boston to the Valley.
Lovullo, 51, replaces Chip Hale, who was fired Oct. 3 along with General Manager Dave Stewart. The Diamondbacks said they will introduce Lovullo at a Monday press conference.
In addition to his duties as bench coach of the Red Sox, Lovullo was coordinator of Boston’s major league spring training. Carlos Febles, manager of Boston’s Sox Double-A affiliate in Portland and the manager of the Surprise Saguaros of the Arizona Fall League, got to know Lovullo at spring training.
“I’ll tell you what, being around him for a couple years now and knowing how much respect the players have for him, it’s amazing,” Febles said. “I’m really happy for him, and I think he’s going to do a great job for the Diamondbacks.”
Febles said Lovullo will be a player’s manager.
“He’s a great communicator,” Febles said. “He’s a guy that will be there for the players every single day. He’ll give the max every single day.”
Lovullo is the third member of the Diamondbacks staff to come from Boston to Phoenix this offseason. The Diamondbacks hired Mike Hazen, general manager of the Red Sox, to replace Stewart, then added Amil Sawdaye, also a former Boston executive, as senior vice president and assistant general manager.
“I appreciate the opportunity to join the D-backs family,” Lovullo said in a statement released by the Diamondbacks. “I’m excited to get to work with the staff and players to help lead this organization back to title contention. I also thank the Boston Red Sox for the invaluable opportunities provided to me over the last four years.”
Lovullo brings significant experience as both a player and a coach.
He has served as an interim manager for the Red Sox when manager John Farrell was out because of an illness, and he managed minor league baseball teams in the Indians and Red Sox organizations.
In 2005, he was named Baseball America’s Double-A Manager of the Year while managing the Akron Aeros.
Febles said the Red Sox have a lot of big holes to fill with the departure of the three Hazen, Sawdaye and now Lovullo. But he said the Red Sox organization will find the right people to do it.
“I don’t think it’s going to affect much,” he said. “It’s hard to lose great people like we did, Hazen and the guys that we had lost. But at the same time, you’ve got to move on, find the right people. With that being said, we’re going to miss those guys.”
Hazen, meanwhile, said he shares values with Lovullo and it stands to reason – the two were together when the Red Sox won the World Series in 2013.
“I’m excited to have Torey as our manager,” Hazen said in a team release. “We share the same goals and mindset about how to be a championship-caliber organization.”