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Lovullo Stands by Peterson Despite Early Season Woes

Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Jace Peterson catches the ball as Cleveland Guardians Joe Naranjo dives back to first base in the sixth inning during a spring training game at Chase Field in Phoenix on March 26, 2024.

It happened again, in the 7th inning of a close game, Torey Lovullo substituted Jace Peterson for Blaze Alexander as the Cubs brought in a left-handed pitcher.

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Peterson’s at-bat resulted in a soft groundball to first base, an unproductive effort that led to a quick 1-2-3 inning. He also made the final out of the game, grounding to first base again.

With this 0-2 performance against the Cubs, Jace Peterson’s season average fell further, now standing at 1-17 with an on-base percentage of .190. Yet, despite these struggles, Lovullo continues to give him critical late-inning at-bats, valuing his left-handed approach in specific matchups.

After the game, Lovullo addressed his decision to keep using Peterson in high-leverage situations. “We gotta get Jace going somehow. I gotta give him something. I gotta give him a try. I can’t run from him,” he explained.

Peterson is currently seeing more playing time than usual because starting shortstop Geraldo Perdomo is on the injured list. Once Perdomo, a switch hitter, returns to the lineup, one would think that Lovullo stops putting Peterson in high pressure situations.

But in the meantime, despite the horrid start to the season at the plate, it seems as if Lovullo will continue to hand the bat over to Peterson when a righty is on the mound.

To Lovullo’s credit, Blaze Alexander, whom Peterson often replaces as a pinch hitter, bats .333 against right-handers but only .250 against left-handers. Additionally, Alexander has struck out six times in 16 at-bats when facing left-handed pitching this season.

 

 

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