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Lovullo: D-backs 'know what it takes now'

Arizona hoping to eclipse 2017 achievements with run in '18
MLB.com @SteveGilbertMLB

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The D-backs' 2017 postseason run ended earlier than they hoped it would, but manager Torey Lovullo sees his team using the sweep at the hands of the Dodgers in the National League Division Series as a building block for '18.

"We have turned the page on 2017, and we'll get ready to [go] after the New Year to get things moving downhill for another run," Lovullo said at his yearly news conference at the Winter Meetings.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The D-backs' 2017 postseason run ended earlier than they hoped it would, but manager Torey Lovullo sees his team using the sweep at the hands of the Dodgers in the National League Division Series as a building block for '18.

"We have turned the page on 2017, and we'll get ready to [go] after the New Year to get things moving downhill for another run," Lovullo said at his yearly news conference at the Winter Meetings.

"We know what it takes now. We know what the walk is. We know what the runway looks like. And when you get to the end of the runway and hopefully enter into the postseason, that it's a whole new level of baseball and that you got to be ready to play -- we know that there's an extra gear that we need to get to and we know what that feels like. And we fell short of our expectations and our overall goals, and I know that we're hungry to achieve things and bring it to the next level."

Video: Lovullo's take on playing under high expectations

Unless there's some sudden change in finances, the D-backs will have to find a way to match last year's success without the presence of free-agent slugger J.D. Martinez.

Martinez, who was acquired on July 18, hit 29 homers and drove in 65 runs for the D-backs. While he was a huge part of the offense, Arizona was 54-39 on the day it acquired him, but 39-30 with him.

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"I want us all to remember, for the first half of the season and beyond, until we did get J.D., we were a real good team," Lovullo said. "He just gave us that little push to take it to the next level. So I'm hoping because of what those guys tasted, touched and felt, that they understand what it will take to fill in those gaps."

Winter Meetings interview with Lovullo

Here are a few other topics that Lovullo touched on during his session:

• As of now, Lovullo is not inclined to name a closer for next year. Archie Bradley and Brad Boxberger profile as late-inning options, but the team could still add another back-end piece.

"I would like to have a closer when we walk out of Spring Training," Lovullo said. "It's [something] that I feel strong about, but I don't know who that's going to be right now. We have to filter some things through, and I know there's a lot of moving parts and things can change between now and that time."

Video: Lovullo on how he is excited by Tomas' progress

• Outfielder Yasmany Tomas, who was limited to just 47 games last year due to injuries, will have to earn his playing time in 2018, but the organization feels he can have a big impact.

"He's going to be one of the guys that's going to have to go out and compete," Lovullo said. "He looks good. I've seen him working out at Chase [Field], so he would absolutely be a guy we count on. There's thunder in his hands. I know he wants to continue improving in all areas of his game, which we need, and he can be a very exciting guy that can carry a roster. So we're excited about that."

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

Arizona Diamondbacks