PHOENIX -- D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said he elected not to tell right-hander Zack Godley that he was only going to pitch through the order once as an “opener” Sunday because he felt not knowing would give the right-hander the best chance at success.
Godley lost his spot in the rotation earlier this month, but with the D-backs' pitching situation, they needed a starter for Sunday’s series finale with the Braves.
Lovullo told Godley he would start but did not indicate to him that it would be for just one time through the order.
One of the reasons Lovullo decided to use Godley in the role of “opener” was because he wanted to have Godley available out of the bullpen against the Pirates. And because the team knew it was going to send rookie Jon Duplantier back to Triple-A Reno to get stretched out as a starter, they would use him for three innings behind Godley.
“It was not a communication breakdown,” Lovullo said. “It’s something that I consciously chose to do. I know I pride myself on communication but in this case, I felt like it was going to be the best option. I didn’t want him to worry about anything other than throwing the baseball as good as he possibly could for as long as he could. I wasn’t lying to him. I wasn’t deceiving him. I’ll never do that to a player. But I just wanted the best possible outcome.”
After he got through the second inning, having faced nine batters and allowing one run, Lovullo told Godley in the dugout he was done for the day.
“I think these guys at times they don’t necessarily agree with what I’m doing at the moment, but they know that I have a reason for it and they trust that reason which I’m very appreciative of,” Lovullo said. “I know I’ve said it before, I’ve built up some street cred with these guys and if I’m going to do something like that, they may question it -- which I ask them to do -- and we walk through it in a calm manner.”
Lovullo said he has spoken with Godley since and that the frustration Godley expressed was that he felt good about how the outing was going and he wanted to continue.
“I told him we’ll get there,” Lovullo said. “It’s part of the process.”
As to what the team will do the next time a fifth starter is needed, Lovullo said it had yet to be decided.
Right-hander Jimmie Sherfy was recalled from Triple-A Reno to take Duplantier’s spot and give the team an extra arm in the bullpen.