One of the reasons why the Arizona Diamondbacks were so bad in 2014 was that their best pitcher, Patrick Corbin, missed the entire season because of Tommy John surgery. Corbin, an All-Star in 2013, did not make his 2015 debut until July 4th. His return bolstered a rotation that was desperate for any kind of re-enforcement as it continuously ranked among the bottom of the league. Hopefully, Corbin’s return this year will be a springboard to bigger and better things next year.
Just seeing the left-hander back on a mound for the first time since September 2013 was a welcome sight for D-backs’ fans. Corbin’s initial outing was a success as he allowed two runs in five innings in securing a victory against the Colorado Rockies. On September 19 at AT&T Park, he enjoyed his best start of the season. Against the San Francisco Giants, Corbin didn’t surrender a run and allowed only five hits in seven innings, walking none while striking out five. He finished the season with a record of 6-5 and a 3.60 ERA in 16 starts.
Any time a pitcher comes back from TJ surgery there are bound to be rough patches. He had two outings in August in which he did not make it past two innings. In his final start of the season, Corbin gave up five runs on ten hits, both season-highs, over 5 1/3 innings, but received a no-decision as the D-backs defeated the Rockies by a score of 8-6. He also was removed early from the above-mentioned September 19th start, having thrown only 81 pitches. It felt as though he could have gone one more inning.
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With his fastball humming near 95 MPH, it is clear that Corbin is just about all the way back from surgery. He threw a total of 85 innings in 2015 and it would be hard to envision him going much above 170 in 2016. Corbin is the only one assured of a rotation spot next year and management is intent on finding more help outside of the organization. That being said, he is currently the team’s best starting pitcher and if no additional big arms are brought aboard, he will get the ball on Opening Day. If the Arizona Diamondbacks are to make a playoff run next year, then Patrick Corbin needs to revert to his 2013 All-Star form.