SALT RIVER FIELDS (3TV/CBS 5) - So far Luke Weaver’s brief D-backs' career can be defined by humility and humidity.
“My wife and I are loving the area and we’re acclimating well,” said Weaver. “But we’re Florida people so I’m still having a little trouble with the dryness and just trying to breathe and do the little things.”
Weaver, like most Arizonans, will adapt. As for the "humility," Weaver walks into the Diamondbacks universe hat in hand. He is well aware that he and catcher Carson Kelly will always be known as the players who came over in the Paul Goldschmidt trade. It’s one of those intangibles that shouldn’t matter once they take the field – but it just does.
“There’s really not [any added pressure],” Weaver explained. “Goldschmidt was the real deal and we’ll be talking about him for years to come so to be traded for him is an honor. He’s a great player, so if you’re included in a deal with that, you have to take the positives out of it.”
A strong perspective from the 25-year-old starting pitcher and one that no doubt was fostered from D-backs management. Shortly after the trade was consummated, D-backs manager Torey Lovullo, knowing the magnitude of the trade and the lofty expectations, immediately attached to the players involved, reached out to Weaver and the new D-backs.
“I broke it down as raw as I possibly could for those guys,” said Lovullo. “This game is not just physical but it’s also very emotional and it can be a mental grind. So when they were traded, those were the very first conversations I had with them. I told them to just be themselves and embrace the organization the way we were embracing them. We chose them for a reason – because they are very special players and they are here to help us win baseball games.”
Weaver joked with reporters about replacing Goldschmidt – something he’s technically not doing.
“Hey listen, I know we have someone replacing him at first base,” Weaver joked. “But if I have to play first, I will do it so let’s set the record straight!”
Jokes aside, Weaver is here to pitch. He has an excellent chance to join the D-backs rotation behind Zack Greinke, Robbie Ray and Zack Godley.
Weaver has a solid 2017 season, going 7-2 with a 3.38 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 60 1/3 innings. The right-hander struggled at times last season, going 7-11 with a 4.95 ERA in 30 games.
“All I can hope is that people are patient,” said Weaver knowing his post-trade performance will attract eyeballs and constant analysis, evaluation and scrutiny. “I hope fans allow us to do our thing. Goldy put in a lot of work over here so just give us a little time and we can pay off our end of this trade.”