Left-hander Patrick Corbin of the Arizona Diamondbacks could have been stronger in latest outing
After a reasonably solid outing against the San Diego Padres his last time out, Corbin witnessed the landscape change. First, rival Archie Bradley, whom Corbin is battling for a spot in the rotation, faltered. While Bradley was in a free-fall in his last outing against Oakland and now spots a 17.47 ERA in three appearances, the stock of left-hander Anthony Banda continues to rise. Not that Banda has yet entered serious discussion about cracking the rotation, Corbin needs to elevate his game and keep Banda at arm’s length.
Corbin had an ideal opportunity Thursday against the Chicago White Sox at Camelback Ranch. With events spiraling in his favor, the opportunity to step forward was as pronounced as it was timely. In the end, Corbin failed to take advantage and seem to drift back into the pack of mediocrity.
With his pitch count at 54 (40 for strikes), and facing one batter into the fourth inning, Corbin surrendered three runs, six hits and non-roster catcher Kevan Smith slammed his initial homer of the spring with one out in the second. Overall, this was not the kind of experience Corbin needed to move up the rotation ladder. After his outing against the White Sox, Corbin acknowledged that to Venom Strikes
"The result could have been better. I felt strong and worked on my change. I must have thrown that about 10 times and had six or seven misses. Thought my fast ball was hitting both sides of the plate. I felt aggressive and got after hitters."
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At this point in spring training, Corbin could receive another three starts to make his case for a rotation spot. As the calendar creeps toward mid-March and days dwindling to the opener April 2 in Chase Field against the San Francisco Giants, opportunity to impress also dwindles.
Despite Corbin’s marginal outing Thursday, manager Torey Lovullo explained to Venom Strikes that Corbin is exactly where he needs to be at this point in spring training.
"Patrick gave up some runs, but I thought he was good. There were a few mistakes to (Matt Davidson, two singles, two RBIs) but overall, he made the pitches he had to make."
Corbin’s next outing could come against the Cubs next Wednesday night at Sloane Park in Mesa. If that happens, he would likely make starts against the A’s on March 20 and against Cleveland March 26. Then, decision time for Lovullo or sooner on his rotation to start the season.
On the diamond
The Diamondbacks dropped their seventh game of the spring and now fall below .500 to 6-7. Despite home runs from Chris Owings and Jake Lamb, the Chicago White Sox managed a 4-2 win before 4,082 at Camelback Ranch.
Starter Patrick Corbin took the loss and is now 1-1 and a 5.40 ERA in three starts. In his outings, Corbin has allowed five runs in 8.1 innings.
The Diamondbacks return to Salt River Friday and engage the Milwaukee Brewers. Right-hander Taijuan Walker, with a 0.00 ERA in his previous two spring starts, takes on former Diamondback Chase Anderson, who went 9-11, a 4.39 ERA in 30 starts last season for the Brewers.
Then, the Diamondbacks and the San Francisco Giants engage in a home-and-home set over the weekend. The Saturday game will played at Salt River and Sunday’s encounter is slated for Scottsdale Stadium.
On Saturday, the Giants will split their squad. Half will bus over to Salt River for the Diamondbacks game and the half remain at Scottsdale Stadium to meet Cincinnati.