Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo did not manage Friday’s game against the San Francisco Giants because he was not feeling well, according to General Manager Mike Hazen.
Bench coach Jerry Narron managed in Lovullo’s place and Robby Hammock served as his bench coach. Narron managed for seven years with the Texas Rangers from 2001-07.
It is not clear what Lovullo is fighting, but the club is hoping there will be good news on Saturday.
“He just doesn’t feel well,” Narron said. “He went to see the doctor and it doesn’t look like he’s going to be back for the game tonight. He just doesn’t feel well. We’ve had a couple guys not feeling well over the last few days. Hopefully he’ll be fine tomorrow.”
Narron said that shortstop Nick Ahmed and catcher John Ryan Murphy have played through illnesses in recent days but was not sure whether Lovullo was suffering from the same symptoms.
“Guys aren’t going to complain,” Narron said. “They’re going to do what they have to do. This might be something entirely different (with Lovullo); I don’t know. You play 162 games, it’s difficult to go out there and feel well every single day.”
When asked to characterize Lovullo’s situation, Hazen said he talked to his manager on Friday but didn’t want to “get into any specifics.”
“He’s doing all right,” Hazen said of Lovullo. “He’s not feeling overly well, but we’ll see how he’s doing tonight and through tomorrow. … I’m going to let him sort of speak to it. I’d just characterize it that he’s not feeling well for today.”
Alumni game Saturday
The Diamondbacks will hold their 2018 alumni game prior to Saturday’s game at Chase Field. First pitch will be at 2:30 p.m.
According to club, the entire day leading up to the 5:10 p.m. contest against the San Francisco Giants will serve as a celebration of the team’s 20th anniversary season.
A special video will be played before the game at 2:15 and an anniversary celebration will take place before the game at 4:30. Diamondbacks legends Luis Gonzalez and Randy Johnson are set to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
As for the alumni game, the two teams – one purple, one red – will play a three-inning exhibition. It expects to be one of the more star-studded reunions the club has hosted.
The purple team will lead off with Steve Finley, Tony Womack and Gonzalez and will also feature Miguel Montero, Chris Young and Shea Hillenbrand in its lineup.
Fan favorite Willie Bloomquist, who played at Arizona State, headlines things for the red team, which will also feature right-hander Brandon Webb on the mound and a special appearance by J.J. Putz in left field.
More info can be found on the team’s website.
Newly acquired right-hander Brad Ziegler said he was aware that he was the first Diamondbacks reliever to use the club’s branded bullpen cart when he made his return to Chase Field in style on Thursday.
Ziegler gave up four runs in his first game with the Diamondbacks since 2016 and said he hadn’t yet made up his mind whether he’d ride the cart again.
“I figured I’d at least do it once,” Ziegler said. “If I don’t do it again, it’s not a superstitious thing. That stuff is just a matter of … I know advertisers have paid a lot of money for that in order to support the team and it’s an opportunity to get seen.”
Ziegler, who did not ride the cart as a member of the Miami Marlins in June, said he enjoys the nostalgia of the bullpen cart and said that he also wanted a chance to calm his heart rate before entering a tense situation in Thursday’s game.
“One of the things that helps me stay composed when there’s a runner on base is have (a controlled) heart rate,” Ziegler said. “If I can avoid jogging in, why jog in? Especially with all the adrenaline I had tonight, just dampen it a little bit.”
Left-hander Andrew Chafin was activated off the paternity list on Friday, giving the Diamondbacks eight men available out of the bullpen.
Chafin and his wife, Shelbi, welcomed a baby girl named Addilyn into the world this week.
In a corresponding move, utility man Chris Owings was optioned to Triple-A Reno. The Diamondbacks now have a total of 13 pitchers compared to 12 position players.
Richard Morin covers the Coyotes and Diamondbacks for azcentral sports. He can be reached at [email protected] and by phone at 480-316-2493. Follow him on Twitter @ramorin_azc