Of all the deficiencies the Diamondbacks are said to have had during the last few seasons, a perceived lack of leadership from within the clubhouse might have rang the loudest.
Leave it to a soft-spoken, light-hitting veteran catcher to change all of that.
In signing Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million free-agent contract, the Diamondbacks believe they have a player whose leadership skills are strong enough to measure the hearts of two men.
“I think so,” manager Torey Lovullo said before Sunday’s Cactus League game against the Rockies at Salt River Fields. “There’s a calm and an easiness to his personality. There’s also an intensity and fierceness that he shows between the lines that only we get to know about and we see every day. That’s the combination I’m the most interested in.
“But then you throw in the ability to lead, the winning track record that follows him and his ability to catch. Let’s not forget that. This guy is a really good player. He gets credit for a lot of things outside of being a really good player and we’re looking forward to him showing that to the rest of that clubhouse.”