These are some of the consequences from playing regular season baseball thousands of miles from home. The Arizona Diamondbacks are weighing whether or not to take Patrick Corbin, the team’s best pitcher from a year ago to the Opening Series in Sydney, Australia. If the team began play either in Arizona or Los Angeles, is there any doubt that the lefty would be pitching in that first series, perhaps the first game?
I get the reasoning why there is some hesitation on the D’backs’ part about taking Corbin Down Under with the rest of the squad. He pitched over 200 innings last year and they want to make sure they can keep him as fresh as possible. He would stay behind and pitch to D’back Minor Leaguers as if it was a real Spring Training. The Dodgers are considering the same option with Clayton Kershaw. However, what’s to say that whoever starts in Australia won’t come back with some adverse affects. While there are obvious differences with time zones and days off, the D’backs should approach the actual games as if they are being played on American soil. Felix Hernandez pitched in Japan in 2012 when the Seattle Mariners played the Oakland A’s. Mike Mussina pitched in Japan when the New York Yankees played the Tampa Bay Rays in 2004. Corbin should not be any different.
Just because games one and two are in unusual zip codes doesn’t mean they count any less in the standings. Take Patrick Corbin, start him and let the chips fall where they may.