Players, coaches work vaccination site

March 24th, 2021

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- About a dozen D-backs players and coaches volunteered at a local COVID-19 vaccination site Tuesday and there will be another day coming up when more players and staff will do the same.

In Arizona, when you dedicate a full day to volunteering at a COVID-19 vaccination site performing duties such as directing traffic, checking people in, or running supplies around the site, you get a shot.

"I’m proud to say that our guys are out there right now volunteering so they get their first shots," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "I’m proud of our guys for doing that and not requesting that they get a privilege or two. They’re doing it the way they should."

Lovullo said he hopes that the players choosing to do this will help encourage others to get vaccinated as soon as they can.

"I feel like anytime we can use our platform to create a very positive message, [it's good]," he said. "I think our guys do a good job of that. Our organization does a fantastic job of that. Our players are a pretty special group. I am certain that a player or two will be recognized today while Arizona Diamondbacks fans are passing through the lines. I am certain these players are going to create some smiles and create some excitement. Just by being there, I think a lot of people are going to get the right message of how important it is to go out and get vaccinated."

Manning the corners
Wyatt Mathisen and Josh VanMeter will start to see some more work in the outfield this week as both players look to show their versatility as they battle for spots on the roster.

The two have played some outfield in the past, and in "B" games or simulated games on backfields this spring.

"We want to see if we have a chance to evaluate them as corner outfielders," Lovullo said.

It's a process
First base coach Dave McKay remains away from the team after suffering a broken rib and a lacerated spleen while slipping on the dugout stairs on March 8.

Lovullo recently talked with McKay and said it could be a little bit before he's back.

"He said that days are good but they’re not perfect, at the end of the day there’s a little bit of fatigue and a little bit of discomfort still," Lovullo said. "We need to get him back to that point where he’s 100 percent throughout the day before we get him back to camp. He misses being around the guys."

Up next
The D-backs play their second night game in a row Wednesday when they take on the Indians at Salt River Fields, live on MLB.TV.

Caleb Smith will get the start for the D-backs at 7:10 p.m. MST, with Joakim Soria, Yoan López and Anthony Swarzak also scheduled to pitch.