One Spot Still Undecided in D’backs’ Camp

By Thomas Lynch

Opening Day is offically less than one week away but most postions for the Arizona Diamondbacks were decided much earlier.  However, there is one battle that has yet to be decided:  the fifth starter’s spot.    As late as yesterday morning, the backup to catcher to Miguel Montero was still up in the air; however the team made it official when it announced that Rod Barajas was released and that Wil Nieves earned the job.  Now we are down to one and the decision may not be made until this weekend.

Randall Delgado’s last start might have sunk his chances of being Arizona’s 5th starter. Image: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Based on their last performances, it is Corbin who has the edge.  On Friday, he pitched five decent innings giving up two runs on three hits.  Control was a bit of a problem as he issued three walks to go along with four strikeouts.  Overall, he is 3-0 this Spring with a 3.66 ERA.  In 19 2/3 innings, he has given up 23 hits and 8 walks with 19 strikeouts.   On Saturday, Delgado took the mound and was shelled for six runs on nine hits.  He surrendered three home runs in his five innings of work issuing four free passes and topped off his day by taking a line drive off the back.  His record stands at 2-1 with a 6.88 ERA.  In 17 innings, he has allowed 27 hits, walked six and struck out ten.

Based on the numbers, it would appear that Corbin has won the fifth spot in the starting rotation.  Plus, he performed well in Arizona at the Major League level in 2012 and had comparable statistics with Delgado last season when the righty was with the Atlanta Braves.  Personally,  I would have made the decision on Sunday to annoint Corbin or even Monday when the team announced the Barajas release.  Still, as the Adam Eaton injury has shown us, we should take nothing for granted as the regular season approaches.

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