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Notes: Lovullo speaks; Leake, Duplantier

@SteveGilbertMLB
February 16, 2020

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Sunday was a light day of work for the Arizona Diamondbacks as manager Torey Lovullo wanted to give the pitchers and catchers a bit of a break before Monday’s first full-squad workout of the spring. There won’t be any easing into things Monday, either, with position players

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Sunday was a light day of work for the Arizona Diamondbacks as manager Torey Lovullo wanted to give the pitchers and catchers a bit of a break before Monday’s first full-squad workout of the spring.

There won’t be any easing into things Monday, either, with position players having live batting practice on their first day, something that is a challenge for hitters who have spent the winter hitting against pitching machines.

“It’s always a hard day,” Lovullo said. “But you’ve got to break that seal at some point. I know at times it’s a little bit frustrating, but I think these guys have been getting after it pretty good already coming in here and taking some swings and looking in on some bullpens. Timing is always the last thing to come.”

Speech! Speech!

Lovullo along with GM Mike Hazen and team president/CEO Derrick Hall, are usually among those who address the players prior to the first full-squad workout, and Lovullo puts a lot of thought into his portion of it.

“I think it’s always a critical time because it’s where I’m going to outline some of my expectations and what my vision is and what the organization’s overall desire is,” Lovullo said. “And that’s to win a world championship and that starts [Monday].”

Has he got anything prepared yet?

“I’ve been getting some insights and some thoughts by just listening and keeping an ear to the ground,” Lovullo said. “I want to finish the rest of this day and see if anything pops up and I’ll finalize some thoughts. I’ll be thinking about it a lot tonight and first thing in the morning.”

Leake throws

Right-hander Mike Leake, who has a fracture of his left wrist played catch Sunday with head athletic trainer Ken Crenshaw catching return throws for him. Leake is hopeful that since he’ll be able to continue to throw bullpens even with the fracture, he should be ready in time for the start of the season.

“He said it was better than it was yesterday and that was our anticipation and I’m super encouraged by it,” Lovullo said.

Duplantier to start

The good news for Jon Duplantier is that the right-hander got into 15 big league games in 2019.

The bad news is the D-backs needed him in the bullpen early in the season and Duplantier was never really able to get stretched out as a starter, making it a bit of a lost year in his development.

“We hurt his development,” Lovullo said. “It was a decision by the organization to bounce him back and forth a couple of times between a starter and a reliever, but it was out of necessity and it was helping us win baseball games to get into, and possibly stay in, a race. Those are extenuating circumstances. We try not to do that but what he showed us is that he’s a pretty tough man. He blocked that out and executed a game plan.”

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