Left-hander Patrick Corbin of the Arizona Diamondbacks has been consistent in five starts this spring.
Left-hander Patrick Corbin continues to make a strong argument to join the starting rotation for the Arizona Diamondbacks. In his latest outing Sunday against the defending American League champion Cleveland Indians, Corbin, though he gave up a two-spot in the fourth inning, was efficient in both pitch count and execution.
Though manager Torey Lovullo named only Zack Greinke to date as one of five starters, it is believed that Corbin will likely join Robbie Ray as the two lefties in the rotation. In five starts this spring, Corbin has allowed seven earned runs in 18.1 innings, and the five innings went in an eventual 4-4 tie with Cleveland before 8,215 in Goodyear Ballpark Sunday, he equaled his longest of the spring.
Afterward, Corbin told Venom Strikes all should point to a spot in the rotation, but as he said, “whatever (Lovullo) wants to do is fine.” In addressing the details, Corbin pointed out things are now natural in delivery and execution and under control.
"It was nice to go into the sixth and continue to build my pitch count. After I came out, I went down to the bullpen and threw another 11 pitches to build up to 75. The goal is to get to 90 in the next start to two, and the ball is coming out really good. I’m confident and ready to go."
With days numbered in spring training, it’s difficult to find a more consistent pitcher in camp this spring for the Arizona Diamondbacks. At one point during his outings, Corbin retired 23 of 24 hitters, and his command of the strike zone continues to be impressive. With his outing against the Indians on Sunday, Corbin walked three in 18.1 innings.
Despite solid outings and a most consistent effort, Lovullo would not commit to Corbin as a starter. With two weeks until opening day, Lovullo told Venom Strikes he would like to have his club on order by the final pre-season games at Chase Field on March 30 and March 31, and that must mean his starting rotation.
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"Whether Patrick has separation among others, we have not discussed that at this point. We will start having that conversation this week. But, Patrick is throwing the ball very well, driving his pitches past the hitters and toward the catcher."
The hope is that Corbin will continue to demonstrate a strong command of the strike zone and the importance of a first-pitch strike. Lovullo also had an opportunity to view Chris Herrmann, a catcher by trade, in another of his varied roles. Against the Indians, Herrmann started in left field, a position where Lovullo wants him to get more reps.
Despite bouncing around the diamond, Herrmann managed to push the Arizona Diamondbacks out to an early lead on Sunday. With one out in the second, Herrmann drilled his first homer of the spring against Josh Tomlin, the Cleveland starter, over the right field fence. With his stint in the outfield and catching all potential starters, Lovullo said Herrmann would be his minister without portfolio.
"It’s a credit to him that he’s able to play these positions. We’ll cycle him through catching all the pitchers and give him more reps in the outfield. It’s great to have a player that can help out in many situations."
More roster moves
On Sunday, the Diamondbacks trimmed their camp roster to 49 players and reduced the roster by three players.
Optioned to Triple-A Reno were infielders Jack Reinheimer and Ildemaro Vargas. As well, infielder Domingo Leyba was optioned to Double-A Jackson.
For Monday, Diamondbacks bus over to Mesa for a night game with the Oakland A’s, Right-hander Taijuan Walker gets the starts and draws A’s lefty Sean Manaea (7-9, 3.86 ERA in 24 starts last season) as his opponent. On Tuesday, it’s back to Salt River and the Kansas City Royals. Lefty Robbie Ray (2-0, 2.31 ERA this spring) takes on lefty Jason Vargas.
The Diamondbacks are then off on Wednesday and resume their spring slate Thursday at Salt River with an afternoon contest against the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs.