The Boston Red Sox lost their bench coach as Tory Lovullo became the new manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
A common practice in the public and private sectors is to recruit people whom one is familiar with, knowing their level of expertise, and expect them to solidify the position within the corporate structure. I have seen it in both sectors during my employment years, and baseball is certainly no exception.
Today, Torey Lovullo left the Red Sox and became manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks in a move that was absolutely no shock to anyone following the MLB management situation. The move was an ongoing rumor since Mike Hazen left Boston to take over the GM slot in Arizona and was finalized today when Lovullo was selected over Phil Nevin. Lovullo replaces Chip Hale, who was fired on October 3rd.
Lovullo was the bench coach for the Red Sox under manager John Farrell and served as interim manager in 2015 when Farrell underwent cancer treatment. Lovullo – now 51-years-old – managed a 28-20 record for the last-place Red Sox. Farrell and Lovullo were teammates with the Angels in 1993 and their careers have intersected since that time.
Lovullo’s performance as interim manager resulted in a two-year deal with Boston and raised questions regarding Farrell’s long-term job status; however, that was answered when Farrell’s option was exercised by Boston. Lovullo – often mentioned in managerial searches – then became the managerial target for Hazen, making his exit no surprise.
The path to being a major league manager is often one that is ponderously long, and for Lovullo it was no different. As a player Lovullo was best classified as a journeyman who played only 303 games for seven teams hitting just .224. Then came the long apprenticeship.
Lovullo was hired by the Cleveland Indians as a minor league infield coach in 2001 and advanced to minor league manager in 2002 when Farrell became the Indians director of player development. When Farrell became manager of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2010, Lovullo became a coach with the Jays and later moved to Boston with Farrell for the championship 2013 season.
The Diamondbacks finished fourth in the National League West in 2016 with a 69-93 record. The Diamondbacks last won a World Series in 2001 and have made the playoffs five times in their 19-year history.
The Red Sox have not announced any replacement for Lovullo, but one should expect the speculation to begin with candidates both within and outside the organization.
The loss of Lovullo is just one of many moves that have punctuated the Red Sox in the last few months within management as executive and baseball operations have seen additions and deletions. Expect more moves and stay tuned to BSI for our view on them.