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Lovullo talks 2019 vision, roles for new players

D-backs manager meets with media at Winter Meetings
December 11, 2018

LAS VEGAS -- D-backs manager Torey Lovullo met with reporters on Tuesday at the Winter Meetings and shared his thoughts on a variety of topics. Here are three main takeaways from his session:1. Lovullo is aware he'll need to address losses of key players at Spring TrainingFollowing the trade of

LAS VEGAS -- D-backs manager Torey Lovullo met with reporters on Tuesday at the Winter Meetings and shared his thoughts on a variety of topics. Here are three main takeaways from his session:
1. Lovullo is aware he'll need to address losses of key players at Spring Training
Following the trade of Paul Goldschmidt, the loss of lefty Patrick Corbin and the expected departure of free-agent center fielder A.J. Pollock, Lovullo wants to make it clear to his players that he still has confidence and belief in them.
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"My vision is perfectly clear," Lovullo said. "I want to go out and win and expect to win every single night. And I think the players feel the same way. It's something that I've rehearsed, saying it publicly, that I want these guys to know that there's a special group left there. There's a lot of offensive production and proven players inside this lineup already. Not that we're going to replace Paul, but we have some horsepower, we have some people that are ready to step up and they need to step up. They've played meaningful games. They've had meaning at-bats and meaningful situations, and they're ready to step up, take it to the next level."

2. If the season started today, Bradley would be closer
Following the decision to non-tender last year's closer, Brad Boxberger, the D-backs are looking for someone to fill the role. Archie Bradley, who had an uneven year after a dominant 2017, got some save opportunities last year, as did Yoshihisa Hirano.
"Personally, I think if you were going to come up here and arm wrestle me and force me to give you a decision, I'll probably start with Archie Bradley as the extreme back end of the equation," Lovullo said.
That, of course, is subject to how the rest of the offseason and Spring Training plays out.

3. Weaver and Kelly can count on getting opportunities at big league level
Catcher Carson Kelly was stuck behind Yadier Molina, who very rarely took days off, and the depth the Cardinals have in the rotation may have limited right-hander Luke Weaver in 2018.
In Arizona, though, Kelly will immediately join Alex Avila and John Ryan Murphy behind the plate, while Weaver will head to Spring Training with a spot in the rotation.
"They're going to both step in and have immediate impacts at the big league level," Lovullo said. "And that's what we're looking for. And it's up to them to come out and perform and be ready. And I think they will. I know they're super excited to be here, be in this organization with the opportunity that they're getting, the opportunity that we're talking about."

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.