Diamondbacks outfielder A.J. Pollock speaks about the controversial call that went against him in the 10th inning of Arizona’s win over the Rockies on Sunday. Bob McManaman/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks’ Daniel Descalso talks about his two-run, walk-off homer to beat the Rockies in the 13th inning on Sunday. Bob McManaman/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo discusses the team’s strong pitching fueling Arizona’s walk-off win over the Rockies on Sunday. Bob McManaman/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks starter Patrick Corbin talks about his strong, scoreless outing against the Rockies in Sunday’s win. Bob McManaman/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks closer Fernando Rodney talks about his outing vs. the Rockies, and says he’ll have no trouble bouncing back from his latest setback. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks right-hander Zack Greinke talks about his start on Saturday night, in which he allowed three earned runs in six-plus innings vs. the Rockies. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller explains his decision to undergo Tommy John surgery, April 29, 2017. (Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports)
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Manager Torey Lovullo, left-hander Robbie Ray and catcher Chris Iannetta react to the loss.
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Chris Owings talks about the first multi-homer game of his career, and how he’s feeling at the plate after homering three times in the past four games.
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Diamondbacks right-hander Taijuan Walker says his fastball was working well for him on Thursday night.
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Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Shelby Miller says he has a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament and that Tommy John surgery is an option, April 27, 2017. (Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports)
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Diamondbacks closer Fernando Rodney on Wednesday’s blown save against San Diego.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo reacts to the Padres’ comeback win.
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Wednesday night’s game against the Padres drew the smallest crowd in Diamondbacks history.
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Manager Torey Lovullo, first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and left-hander Patrick Corbin react to Tuesday’s win. Sarah McLellan/azcentral sports
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Manager Torey Lovullo, right-hander Zack Greinke and shortstop Chris Owings react to Monday’s home win over the Padres. Sarah McLellan/azcentral sports
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Diamondbacks right-hander Shelby Miller did not provide many details on his elbow injury on Monday, but he is planning to receive a second opinion on Tuesday in Los Angeles. Nick Piecoro/azcentral sports
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D-Backs’ Shelby Miller talks about arm injury suffered during the 6-2 loss to the Dodgers, April 23, 2017. (Scott Bordow/azcentral sports)
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David Peralta talks about the Diamondbacks’ offense and his record-setting four doubles Saturday.
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Diamondbacks starter Robbie Ray talks after his team’s 11-5 victory over the Dodgers.
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Manager Torey Lovullo, right-hander Taijuan Walker, shortstop Chris Owings and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt react to the 13-5 win.
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First baseman Paul Goldschmidt says the Diamondbacks couldn’t string together enough hits against the Padres on Thursday night.
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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo talks about his team’s 4-1 loss to the Padres and their 4-6 road trip through San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego.
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A.J. Pollock on controversial play: “You guys saw the replay”
Descalso talks about walk-off home run over Rockies
Lovullo on pitching, more in D-Backs’ wild win
Corbin discusses his scoreless outing vs. Rockies
Fernando Rodney talks about his latest blown save
Zack Greinke after outing vs. Rockies
D-Backs’ Shelby Miller to have Tommy John surgery
Diamondbacks fall 3-1 to Rockies
Chris Owings on his two-homer night
D-Backs’ Taijuan Walker on his 11-strikeout performance vs. Padres
D-Backs’ Shelby Miller considering Tommy John surgery
Fernando Rodney reacts to his blown save against the Padres
Torey Lovullo reacts to Diamondbacks’ ‘heartbreaking’ loss
Diamondbacks attendance hits new low
Diamondbacks pull away from Padres for 9-3 win
Diamondbacks hold on for win over Padres
Shelby Miller on his injury, visit with team doctor
Arizona Diamondbacks’ Shelby Miller discusses arm injury
David Peralta on his record-setting night
Robbie Ray reacts to Saturday’s win over the Dodgers
Diamondbacks use 9-run eighth to overwhelm Dodgers
Paul Goldschmidt on D-Backs’ offense vs. Padres
Manager Torey Lovullo breaks down D-Backs’ loss, road trip
Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt started the first 20 games of the season before he took a break, regulated to the bench April 24 against the Padres until he trotted out of the dugout as a defensive substitute in the ninth.
The decision to sit Goldschmidt wasn’t made last-minute. It was planned days in advance, and Goldschmidt received early notice.
This process plays out with each player and although individual workloads vary, the formula for figuring out when it’s time to rest is the same for everyone – a tactic manager Torey Lovullo is relying on to try to keep the roster at full strength.
“To play your best games with your most healthy lineup in August, September is the utmost importance to me,” he said.
Determining the amount of games a player should play before taking a timeout starts with the medical team.
Arizona’s staff relays a number to Lovullo of how many games in a row it’d be comfortable with a particular player suiting up, and this benchmark is based on a host of factors – from the number of games he played last season to how the player performed in the past when rested versus in the midst of an every-day grind.
Historical knowledge like that is key. So is bearing in mind that normal aches and pains are bound to pop up during a 162-game regular season.
But the Diamondbacks are also making real-time check-ins. The team is keeping tabs on the quality of sleep players receive and asking about their state of mind, whether they feel anxious or relaxed.
“That gives a little more of a snapshot of what’s happening,” Lovullo said.
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Not all of the insight being pieced together is objective as Lovullo also uses his eyes and ears to make judgments, interpreting physical signs of fatigue and listening to what players are saying.
And gathering this information is a priority to better distribute rest, which seems to have become more important across baseball.
Last season, just three players appeared in all 162 games.
In 2015, only one – the Orioles’ Manny Machado – accomplished the feat. And the last time a player logged consecutive 162-game seasons was when the Giants’ Hunter Pence did so in 2013 and 2014.
MORE: D-Backs, Descalso close April with a splash
Only one player in Diamondbacks history has played all 162 games in a regular season, and that’s Luis Gonzalez. He did it twice, in 2000 and 2001.
“Back then, you kind of rode your horses as long as they can go,” Gonzalez said. “You want to win as many games as you can and then hopefully right before the playoffs, they get a little bit of rest and then they’re ready to go.”
Gonzalez extended his ironman streak to 446 games until he was sidelined for seven games with a rib injury, and it bothered him when the run ended.
“I always went out there with the attitude that I didn’t want someone to take my job,” he said. “I wanted to play every single day and every out. There was a pride I took in being the rock.”
Being durable still motivates today’s players, and they prepare as if they’re going to be taking the field every day – not only in-season but during the winter, as well, when they focus on training and nutritional habits that can help keep them in the lineup.
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“You look at somebody like Goldy, who plays every single day, he’s got his routine down to a science, and that’s what you kind of want to get to,” shortstop Chris Owings said. “Just knowing what your body needs every week.”
Even Goldschmidt, however, recognizes the value of taking a day off.
Although he didn’t completely unplug when he was a spectator last week, eventually getting ready in the event he would be motioned into a close game, there’s an upside to letting the body and mind take a break.
And the benefit could end up surfacing at a critical juncture of the season.
“If you’re able to keep guys fresh, you’re not necessarily going to see it off-day to the next day you’re 100 percent,” Goldschmidt said. “But I think the cumulative of just maybe in August you’re slightly fresher or September or July or whatever. That can maybe help you win a game here or there.”
Reach the reporter at [email protected] or 602-444-8276. Follow her at twitter.com/azc_mclellan.