Torey Lovullo Wins 2017 NL Manager of Year Award

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistNovember 14, 2017

Arizona Diamondbacks' Torey Lovullo talks to a player prior to a baseball game against the San Diego Padres Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017, in Phoenix. The Diamondbacks defeated the Padres 3-2. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

Torey Lovullo's first season with the Arizona Diamondbacks resulted in him being named 2017 National League Manager of the Year.

According to the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Lovullo beat out Los Angeles Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts and the Colorado Rockies' Bud Black for the honor.

Lovullo captured 18 of a possible 30 first-place votes.

After three consecutive losing seasons, including a 69-93 record in 2016, expectations were low for the Diamondbacks at the start of 2017.

Lovullo, who spent the previous six seasons as a coach for the Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox, took the opportunity and ran with it, leading the team to a 93-69 record and its first playoff appearance since 2011.

Sports Illustrated noted in September some of the changes Lovullo and general manager Mike Hazen implemented to spark Arizona's 24-win turnaround:

"They non-tendered bat-first catcher Welington Castillo, replaced him with defense-first catchers Chris Iannetta and Jeff Mathis, hired Dan Haren to help with game-planning pitching strategies and traded shortstop Jean Segura for starting pitcher Taijuan Walker. The emphasis on run prevention earned Arizona a wild-card home game and an improvement of at least 21 wins."

Though the Dodgers' success overshadowed almost everything else that happened in the NL last season, the Diamondbacks finished with the third-best record in the league.

Arizona advanced to the National League Division Series against Los Angeles by defeating Colorado in the Wild Card Game. It was its first postseason win since Game 4 of the 2011 NLDS against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Lovullo's ability to incorporate analytics with his locker-room skills made him an instant success. He built a solid foundation in his first year and seems to have the Diamondbacks on track to compete for division titles and the World Series for the foreseeable future.