Passion for hitting fuels Martinez's success

D-backs slugger credits his mentors with crafting his swing

Passion for hitting fuels Martinez's success

Inspiration can come from just about anywhere: another person, an event, a book, a movie or perhaps a quote. Occasionally inspiration can lead individuals to do great things -- and that was the case for D-backs outfielder J.D. Martinez.

As a child growing up in southern Florida, the Miami-born outfielder -- who clubbed 29 homers in just 62 games with the D-backs this season -- picked up the game of baseball at a very young age, due to a little push from his father, who wanted to ensure that his son stayed away from more injury-prone activities.

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Ian Kraft is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Goldschmidt selects scholarship recipients

D-backs first baseman partners with University of Phoenix

Goldschmidt selects scholarship recipients

PHOENIX -- Since getting his degree from University of Phoenix several years ago, D-backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt has worked to encourage others to do the same.

On Wednesday, Goldschmidt and University of Phoenix announced five Arizona residents as this year's "Teaming Up for Education" scholarship recipients.

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

La Russa leaving D-backs at end of month

Hall of Fame manager spent three-plus seasons in front office

La Russa leaving D-backs at end of month

PHOENIX -- After watching the D-backs struggle in 2016, front-office executive Tony La Russa didn't feel he could walk away from the Arizona organization despite the dismissal of his handpicked general manager Dave Stewart and manager Chip Hale.

"I would have been haunted by that season," La Russa said.

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

D-backs' Arizona Fall League overview

Reinheimer showing defensive versatility, ability with bat

D-backs' Arizona Fall League overview

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- There's no such thing as too much knowledge or too much versatility for a player, and Jack Reinheimer is working to acquire both during his stint with the Salt River Rafters in the Arizona Fall League.

"It's a good thing to be in this league," Reinheimer said. "Getting to pick these guys' brains and seeing what has been working for them, bouncing ideas off of them. I like doing that about hitting. It's a good opportunity for me to work on some things I want to work on."

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William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

#AwardWorthy: Vote J.D. for Best Performance

#AwardWorthy: Vote J.D. for Best Performance

The D-backs' acquisition of J.D. Martinez in July provided a major boost to their lineup, as the outfielder went on to hit 29 home runs and drive in 65 RBIs in 62 games with Arizona.

Perhaps Martinez's most memorable moment came against the Dodgers in Los Angeles on Sept. 4, when became the 18th player in MLB history to hit four home runs in a single game. It's that performance that earned Martinez a nomination for Best Performance in this year's Esurance MLB Awards.

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Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

D-backs progressed, surprised everyone in '17

D-backs progressed, surprised everyone in '17

PHOENIX -- There was not a whole lot the D-backs wanted to remember from 2016, but when it came to 2017, well, the memories could fill a book.

From walk-off wins to a return to the postseason for the first time since 2011, this past season was packed with memorable moments. It was tough to whittle this down, but here's a look at five of the things worth remembering about the 2017 season:

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

After 'frustrating' end, D-backs look ahead

After 'frustrating' end, D-backs look ahead

PHOENIX -- D-backs players, looking tired and still somewhat in shock over their quick exit from the National League Division Series presented by T-Mobile after a 3-1 loss to the Dodgers the night before, drifted in and out of the home clubhouse at Chase Field on Tuesday morning.

Players packed up their lockers and arranged to have certain items shipped to their homes.

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Barry M. Bloom

Elbow not issue as Goldy wraps MVP-caliber '17

D-backs star doesn't blame bout with inflammation for struggles down stretch

Elbow not issue as Goldy wraps MVP-caliber '17

PHOENIX -- The final freeze frame for Paul Goldschmidt of the 2017 season on Monday night was the right-handed hitter flailing and missing at Kenley Jansen's full-count, 95-mph cutter just off the outside of the plate.

The strikeout ended the Dodgers' sweep of the D-backs in their best-of-five National League Division Series presented by T-Mobile in a 3-1 Game 3 loss and punctuated a tough final month for Goldschmidt.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

D-backs will reflect after the sting wears off

Disappointment following NLDS loss will become motivation

D-backs will reflect after the sting wears off

PHOENIX -- There will be a time the D-backs reflect on how magical a season 2017 was and how much they accomplished.

Monday night, though, just minutes after watching their postseason run come to a crashing halt with a 3-1 loss to the Dodgers, was not that time.

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Man on a mission: Trip opened Hoover's eyes

D-backs reliever found rewarding experience in goodwill tour to Africa

Man on a mission: Trip opened Hoover's eyes

His demeanor on the mound in 2017 was hushed and tranquil, but Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher J.J. Hoover is a fierce competitor with a passion for four things: God, family, farming and baseball.

Before signing with the club last offseason, Hoover and his wife Megan-Kate were able to parlay all four of those passions into a two-week goodwill tour of Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

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Ian Kraft is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Greinke's great season ends on sour note

D-backs ace bested by homers after command issues

Greinke's great season ends on sour note

PHOENIX -- D-backs ace Zack Greinke's search for command on Monday night led him to throw 29 first-inning pitches. His count would grow to 88 through four frames, but he trailed then by only a single run and would throw however many it took.

"As long as I keep getting outs, I'll throw 150 pitches if that's what the team wants," Greinke said.

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Thomas Harding has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

D-backs KO'd as Greinke unable to slow LA

D-backs KO'd as Greinke unable to slow LA

PHOENIX -- With Cody Bellinger driving in runs and Yu Darvish and the bullpen preventing them, the Dodgers completed their three-game sweep of the National League Division Series presented by T-Mobile on Monday night with a 3-1 victory over the D-backs at Chase Field to reach the NL Championship Series presented by Camping World for the second consecutive year.

Gear up for the NLCS

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jon Paul Morosi

Potential free-agent fits for J.D. Martinez

Potential free-agent fits for J.D. Martinez

J.D. Martinez slugged 29 home runs in 62 regular-season games with the D-backs -- and one more in four postseason tilts -- after arriving in a July trade from the Tigers, an astonishing display of power that helped the franchise earn its first playoff berth since 2011.

Arizona's season is over now, following a loss to the Dodgers in the National League Division Series presented by T-Mobile. But Martinez will remain in the headlines for weeks to come, as the industry waits eagerly for him to select his employer for 2018 -- and beyond.

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Jon Paul Morosi is a reporter for MLB.com and MLB Network. He has also covered baseball for FOX Sports, the Detroit Free Press, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lovullo: 'They deserved to win this series'

Lovullo: 'They deserved to win this series'

PHOENIX -- Archie Bradley has always ended his season by watching the other team celebrate.

It's not because of some sort of masochistic desire or fear of success, Bradley insists. It's motivation. The bulletin board of material the Arizona super reliever will use to fuel himself will add another loss, as he and the Diamondbacks ran into a Dodgers buzzsaw and fell, 3-1, Monday to secure a sweep in the National League Division Series presented by T-Mobile.

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Fabian Ardaya is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Barry M. Bloom

D-backs set foundation for 2018 and beyond

Lovullo, Hazen guide Arizona to 93-win season in first year

D-backs set foundation for 2018 and beyond

PHOENIX -- Early in this phantasmagorical season for the D-backs, new manager Torey Lovullo spoke in metaphors about trying to build an organization brick by brick. The team's fine start was just another brick in the wall, Lovullo said.

Even though that season ended on Monday night with a loss to the Dodgers in their National League Division Series presented by T-Mobile, Lovullo and general manager Mike Hazen not only built an entire wall, but a red-brick edifice that should stand the test of time.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

J.D. heads to FA with fond D-backs memories

Slugger in line for big payday after 45-homer season

J.D. heads to FA with fond D-backs memories

PHOENIX -- Outfielder J.D. Martinez is confident that the future is bright for the Arizona Diamondbacks, but whether he will be part of it is not as clear.

The D-backs' season ended Monday night with a 3-1 loss to the Dodgers in Game 3 of the National League Division Series presented by T-Mobile, and after the World Series, Martinez will become a free agent for the first time in his career.

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dodgers-D-backs NLDS Game 3: In Real Life

Dodgers-D-backs NLDS Game 3: In Real Life

The Dodgers swept the D-backs in the National League Division Series presented by T-Moble with a 3-1 win on Monday night at Chase Field. With the clinch, Los Angeles advances to its second straight NL Championship Series presented by Camping World. We were on the scene in Phoenix.

9:15 p.m. MST: Barnes' blast follows Bellinger's catch
The Dodgers chased Zack Greinke from the game in the sixth inning, as catcher Austin Barnes took the D-backs ace's 105th pitch into the left-field seats to make it 3-1. Barnes, who went to college in the area at Arizona State, rocketed the ball at 105.2 mph off the bat, according to Statcast™. In the bottom of the fifth, Cody Bellinger, who had homered in the top of the inning, made a diving catch into the Dodgers' dugout to help stop Arizona's rally.

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NLDS Game 3: Lovullo postgame interview

NLDS Game 3: Lovullo postgame interview

Q. Is it too early for you to kind of look back on what the team accomplished during the season rather than what you didn't accomplish tonight?
TOREY LOVULLO: You look for the positives and the silver lining in everything in moments like these. But I'm hurting right now, as the guys are, and I'm sure I'll reflect on that at some point over the next several days. But for right now, I want to remember how I feel, because I think it will motivate me, and the pain and the frustration that we're all experiencing right now.

I think the guys will feel that in a very normal fashion and digest it on their own. But I want them to properly work through that. I don't want them to dismiss the feeling and kind of bury it in the back of their mind, and I think they will.

I know collectively as a group we're going to look back on this year as one that was very productive. When that happens, I don't know. I don't know. I want to start to think positive thoughts, but I can't quite get there yet, and I'm not going to force it. I want to have it be a natural process.

Game Date Results Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 6 LAD 9, ARI 5 Watch
Gm 2 Oct. 7 LAD 8, ARI 5 Watch
Gm 3 Oct. 9 LAD 3, ARI 1 Watch

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Perez thrives at, behind plate in AFL opener

Perez thrives at, behind plate in AFL opener

After a breakout season in which he reached Triple-A for the first time, Michael Perez made an immediate impact on both sides of the ball on Tuesday in his Arizona Fall League debut.

Perez, an Arizona Diamondbacks farmhand, went 2-for-2 with an early two-run double and also threw out an attempted basestealer to help lead Salt River past Surprise, 4-3, on the AFL's Opening Day.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Walker, Duplantier named Prospects of Year

D-backs' first baseman, pitcher honored by MLBPipeline.com

Walker, Duplantier named Prospects of Year

PHOENIX -- First baseman Christian Walker and right-hander Jon Duplantier were named the D-backs' Hitting and Pitching prospects of the year by MLBPipeline.com.

It is the continuation of honors both players have received for their outstanding performances this past season.

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Goldy, Drury homers not enough in Game 2

Goldy, Drury homers not enough in Game 2

LOS ANGELES -- The bottom of the batting order finally cracked the code on Arizona starter Robbie Ray and the Dodgers took a commanding two games to none lead in the best-of-five National League Division Series presented by T-Mobile on Saturday night, hanging on for an 8-5 win over the D-backs at Dodger Stadium.

The series moves to Arizona for Game 3 tonight, when a win would give the Dodgers a sweep. In the current best-of-five format, teams up 2-0 have gone 36-4 in the postseason and those up 2-0 at home are 22-2.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ray can't continue success against Dodgers

Lefty was 3-0 with 2.27 ERA in five regular-season starts vs. L.A.

Ray can't continue success against Dodgers

LOS ANGELES -- This was not something the D-backs expected to see -- the Dodgers scoring runs off Robbie Ray.

If there was one thing the D-backs thought they could count on, it was that Ray, who dominated the Dodgers during the regular season, would deliver a victory in Game 2 and even the National League Division Series presented by T-Mobile at one game apiece.

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Goldy's early 2-run HR for naught in G2 loss

D-backs' MVP candidate keeps tormenting Dodgers

Goldy's early 2-run HR for naught in G2 loss

LOS ANGELES -- For the second time this postseason, Paul Goldschmidt made sure the D-backs were playing with an early lead. Goldschmidt sent left-hander Rich Hill's 89.6-mph fastball over the left-field wall for a two-run lead in the first inning -- before the Dodgers rallied for an 8-5 win in Game 2 of the National League Division Series presented by T-Mobile.

Hill had issued a one-out walk -- with a couple pitches close -- to A.J. Pollock before serving up the homer. The walk was out of character.

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Thomas Harding has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

DYK? Goldy, Jansen bookend G2 with history

DYK? Goldy, Jansen bookend G2 with history

Many circled this National League Division Series between the Dodgers and D-backs as one that could surprise people. But to this point, Los Angeles' offense has shaken off the rust and displayed the relentlessness that spurred the club to the Majors' best regular-season record.

The Dodgers' 8-5 win on Saturday night gave them a commanding 2-0 lead over their NL West rivals heading to Arizona, and Los Angeles has never blown a 2-0 lead in a five-game postseason series. The D-backs will have a lot of work to do, but the task is not impossible. Remember, Arizona won the final six regular-season meetings between these two clubs; the winning formula is out there.

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Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.

Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @JoeTrezz.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

D-backs-Dodgers NLDS Game 2: In Real Life

D-backs-Dodgers NLDS Game 2: In Real Life

The Dodgers overran the D-backs, 8-5, in Game 2 to take a 2-0 lead in the National League Division Series presented by T-Mobile. We were on the scene in and around Dodger Stadium.

12:25 a.m. ET: Hill rallies the fans
Rich Hill, the Dodgers' starter who worked four innings of two-run ball, was seen in the dugout holding a sign encouraging the Dodger Stadium crowd to "make some noise" during a rally in the seventh. The Dodgers benefited from two singles, a walk and a fielding error to add an insurance run for an 8-5 lead.

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Homer-happy D-backs fall short in Game 1

Homer-happy D-backs fall short in Game 1

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers opened the National League Division Series presented by T-Mobile on Friday night like the best team in baseball, grinding out a 9-5 win over the D-backs in Game 1 of the best-of-five series at Dodger Stadium behind Justin Turner's five RBIs and despite four solo home runs allowed by Clayton Kershaw.

Turner tied Pedro Guerrero (1981) and Davey Lopes (1978) for the single-game postseason club record for RBIs. Yasiel Puig and Corey Seager had two RBIs each.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

D-backs encouraged by 4-HR rally off Kershaw

Pollock, Martinez, Marte and Mathis hit solo shots off Dodgers ace

D-backs encouraged by 4-HR rally off Kershaw

LOS ANGELES -- The D-backs did lose, 9-5, to Clayton Kershaw in Game 1 of the National League Division Series presented by T-Mobile on Friday night, but they didn't let the Dodgers' ace escape unscathed.

A.J. Pollock, J.D. Martinez, Ketel Marte and Jeff Mathis all hit solo shots off Kershaw. It was just the second time in Kershaw has given up four homers in a game.

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Iannetta earns respect with gritty approach

Iannetta earns respect with gritty approach

The D-backs' May 12 win over the Pirates may never go down as one of Chris Iannetta's personal favorites, but it certainly marked the day Arizona discovered the catcher's mettle.

Less than 24 hours after getting hit by a pitch in that game and undergoing surgery to repair his lip and teeth, the 33-year-old veteran told manager Torey Lovullo he was ready to get back into the lineup the next day. While the D-backs ultimately erred on the side of caution and put the catcher on the DL at the time, it certainly didn't take anything away from the backstop's toughness and willingness to get back at it -- no matter what.

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Josh Greene is the D-backs' director of publications. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Walker's start unravels in fateful first inning

D-backs pitcher allows four runs in opening frame

Walker's start unravels in fateful first inning

LOS ANGELES -- D-backs right-hander Taijuan Walker didn't blame nerves as the diagnosis for his rough introduction to postseason play Friday night, not even after a four-run, nine-batter, 48-pitch first inning that contributed to the D-backs' 9-5 loss in Game 1 of the best-of-five National League Division Series presented by T-Mobile.

Walker said Dodgers hitters were the problem.

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Thomas Harding has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2002..

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.