Given the Diamondbacks conservative approach, left-hander Patrick Corbin appears directly on schedule.
Generally, the Diamondbacks are most cautious in any rehabilitation process, and especially so with the effects of Tommy John surgery.
After undergoing TJ surgery last March to repair a damaged elbow, Corbin would have had a 12 month time window for recovery. Because the Diamondbacks’ medical staff likes to be vigilant and spread out a rehabilitation process with serious injuries, Corbin’s timetable was pushed ahead. That placed the lefty on a 14 to 15 month recovery period and, by his own admission, his return to the mound has not deviated from that time window.
From the surgery of last March to the given 14-month recovery period, that puts Corbin back on the mound sometime in early June.
On Tuesday afternoon in Chase Field, Corbin threw his second simulated game, and afterward, pronounced himself strong.
“Feels great to get out every day,” he said after throwing 30 pitches. “Really, I feel great and everyday, I’m getting better.”
After his initial mound effort last Tuesday afternoon, Corbin said he felt physically sore.
“That was because I had not thrown off the mound in a year,” he smiled. “My body kind of ached because I’m not used of going through the motions of pitching. After a few days, I responded well.”
If the reviews are any indication, Corbin could be back in the rotation picture sooner than later. His fast ball seems to explode out of his hand, and Corbin is throwing breaking pitches over for strikes.
Going forward, the schedule calls for his next outing at Salt River next Monday. That’s because the Diamondbacks are on the road, and Corbin will be pitching in a minor league. At that time, his pitch count will rise to around 45.
One benefit of the outing Tuesday before his teammates faced the Colorado Rockies in Chase Field was a break between pitches. The effect was to simulate a game situation in which he would come to the bench, as normally he would at the end of an inning, and then return to the mound.
“For his two innings, he looked great,” said manager Chip Hale “We had him at 30 pitches and he said he felt good. Yes, the plan is for him to go again next Monday.”
When news circulated Tuesday that former Diamondbacks’ manager Kirk Gibson was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, the reaction was respectful.
Manager Chip Hale, who was the Diamondbacks third base coach when Gibson was bench coach to A. J. Hinch, said Gibson was “close to everyone here.”
“I learned a great deal from Kirk when we were both here, and had many conversations about the game,” Hale said before Tuesday’s game with Colorado. “I’m sure he’ll attack this with the great fervor he’s attacked everything else in life. We’re all pulling for him to be okay.”
OF HISTORICAL NOTE
Before his start last night against the Rockies, right-hander Archie Bradley was treading history.
Prior to his start against the Rockies, Bradley was only the fifth pitcher since 1914 to allow two hits or less in six innings plus in two of his first three major league tarts.
Bradley’s 1.45 ERA was the lowest by an Arizona starting pitcher on their first three games, and the fifth lowest in the majors in 12 years. Among Arizona pitchers, Bradley also complied the fourth lowest ERA in their first three starts. He trailed only Curt Schilling (1.04 in 2000), Josh Collmenter (1.10 in 2011), and Enrique Gonzalez (1.42 in 2006).