SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Wednesday was Torey Lovullo's first day back at Salt River Fields, but those who went looking for the D-backs' manager would not find him in his office sitting behind his desk.Instead, Lovullo was doing what he loves most, moving around the complex spending time with players who
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Wednesday was Torey Lovullo's first day back at Salt River Fields, but those who went looking for the D-backs' manager would not find him in his office sitting behind his desk.
Instead, Lovullo was doing what he loves most, moving around the complex spending time with players who were working out in preparation for the beginning of Spring Training next month.
Lovullo, who won National League Manager of the Year Award honors, helped lead a turnaround in Arizona last season as the D-backs went 93-69 and captured the NL's top Wild Card spot.
Building personal relationships with his players was a key component of Lovullo's style and the one that drew the most praise from players.
Wednesday was the beginning of re-establishing that in 2018.
"It's all or nothing," Lovullo said. "I mean, I see them every day, and then all of a sudden you step out of their lives and it takes a little time to get reacclimated. So, I wanted to get here and let them know that I'm excited for a new season."
Lovullo was still getting over some jetlag after a trip to South Africa where he went on a pair of photo safaris.
"We had a great trip," Lovullo said. "We got a chance to go out and really be a part of nature and see some extremely powerful animals up close."
With so many players living in Arizona during the offseason, Salt River Fields begins to fill up in January.
Paul Goldschmidt, Jake Lamb, Chris Owings, Yasmany Tomas, Patrick Corbin, Robbie Ray, Braden Shipley and Shelby Miller have been among those seen working out.
On Thursday, Lovullo took some time to speak to the D-backs Baseball Academy Fantasy Camp participants, where he took questions in an off-the-record session and pulled back the curtain a bit on some topics, including what goes into his thinking when writing up a lineup.
"They're passionate baseball fans and they support the Arizona Diamondbacks on a pretty impressive level," Lovullo said. "So, for me to be able to get in there and connect with them and give them a little piece of what's going on here was a lot of fun for me."
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.