Diamondbacks' Lovullo chosen as NL's top skipper

Diamondbacks' Lovullo chosen as NL's top skipper

Paul Molitor has won the American League Manager of the Year award after his Minnesota Twins became the first team to make the playoffs following a 100-loss season.

Lovullo is only the eighth skipper to capture a Manager of the Year Award in his first full season as a Major League manager - but this is actually the fourth consecutive season with a first-year victor.

Lovullo, 52, is the third Diamondbacks manager to win the award.

Lovullo guided Arizona to a 93-69 record and reached the playoffs in 2017 - the team's first postseason berth since 2011. Kirk Gibson won it in 2011 and Bob Melvin won it in 2007. Dave Roberts, a runner-up this year, was Manager of the Year as a first-time manager for the Dodgers in 2016, as was Jeff Banister for the Rangers in '15 and Matt Williams for the Nationals in '14. Arizona's skipper earned 18 first-place votes, while Roberts got five, with Bud Black of the Colorado Rockies and Craig Counsell of the Milwaukee Brewers each garnering three.

The Diamondbacks improved by 24 games over 2016 in Lovullo's first season. He had a Hall of Fame career as a player, spending 21 seasons in the big leagues including his last three with the Twins.

Molitor, 61, just finished his third year at the helm of the Twins. The other: Frank Robinson, who was AL Manager of the Year for the Orioles in 1989. Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch was the only other AL manager to receive a first-place vote. Former Yankees manager Joe Girardi also received votes.

Arizona beat the Colorado Rockies 11-8 in the wild-card game and then were swept by the Dodgers in the National League Division Series.

Molitor won the honor Tuesday in voting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

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