Chicago Cubs: Cubbies Crib staff casts their end-of-year award votes
By Jake Misener
Chicago Cubs: CC staff shows love for a first-year skipper
For year, Torey Lovullo’s name lingered whenever a managerial opening took center stage. And, prior to the 2017 campaign, he finally got the call with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
And he did not disappoint. Lovullo led Arizona to a wild card birth with an impressive 93-win campaign and a second-place finish in the NL West. Facing skepticism after Arizona disappointed in a big way in 2016, the former Red Sox bench coach stepped up in every way.
"“I felt from the first meeting he had, the words he spoke, they kind of hit me,” Archie Bradley said. “And it was the first time in a while when your ‘leader or coach’ — the guy you’re going to follow for the season — says something and you stood up a little straighter. The hair on my neck stood up a little bit.”"
Zack Greinke rebounded to lead the staff with 17 wins. Robbie Ray emerged as a legitimate front-line starter in the rotation and the offense was bolstered by the likes of Paul Goldschmidt – an MVP candidate – and third baseman Jake Lamb, who hit 30 homers and drove in 105 runs with a .357 OBP.
The talent was already there. But, as we’ve seen countless times, having the right man at the helm can make all the difference. For Arizona, Lovullo was that guy – and the future is very bright in Phoenix.