Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo should outlast the Rockies' Bud Black to win National League Manager of the Year.
1. Torey Lovullo, Diamondbacks
2. Bud Black, Rockies
3. Craig Counsell, Brewers
Lovullo, the first-year manager, and Mike Hazen, the first-year GM, brought their Boston-based run prevention wisdom to the desert. They non-tendered bat-first catcher Welington Castillo, replaced him with defense-first catchers Chris Iannetta and Jeff Mathis, hired Dan Haren to help with game-planning pitching strategies, and traded shortstop Jean Segura for starting pitcher Taijuan Walker. The emphasis on run prevention earned Arizona a wild card home game and an improvement of at least 21 wins.
Last year the Diamondbacks posted a franchise-worst 5.09 ERA. This year? A franchise-best 3.67 mark.
Under Lovullo, Arizona also is one of the best baserunning teams in baseball. They rank second in taking the extra base (45%) while making the fewest outs on the bases (35).