Taking the fifth? Corbin's outing speaks for itself
Left-hander enhances his case for spot in D-backs' rotation
PHOENIX -- Competing alongside Randall Delgado for the fifth spot in the D-backs' starting rotation, Patrick Corbin turned in his third consecutive quality outing on Friday against the Indians, tossing five innings and allowing two runs on three hits.
The outing was the left-hander's longest of the spring, and he figures to start once more before camp breaks at the end of the month.
"It felt good getting up there around 90 pitches," Corbin said. "My arm feels good and I'm getting my stamina up."
Corbin cruised through the first two innings on Friday, facing the minimum six batters, but ran into trouble in the third when he admittedly worked too fast and lost command of his fastball. The 23-year-old walked the bases loaded, then allowed a two-out, two-run single to Michael Bradley.
"I was feeling good, then maybe I just rushed a little bit," Corbin said. "Usually I can correct that quick, but it took me a while. After that, though, I think I went after guys better."
Corbin escaped the inning by picking Asdrubal Cabrera off third, a move that impressed D-backs manager Kirk Gibson, given the situation.
"When things are going bad, that kind of play is a good sign," Gibson said. "A lot of guys would balk or throw the ball away. He does a lot of things well and that got him out of the inning."
In his final two innings Friday, Corbin settled back down and didn't give up a hit the rest of his night.
"It was nice to put up those zeroes," he said.
Overall, Gibson was pleased with what he saw from his young southpaw, especially the command of his secondary pitches.
"He was able to throw his change-up and slider when he was behind in the count tonight," Gibson said. "Not too many hitters are looking for that, they are gearing up for the fastball. That's impressive."
Over his last 13 2/3 innings, Corbin has surrendered just four runs while striking out 10. In fact, without a one-inning meltdown against the Royals on March 6, the left-hander would have a 1.93 ERA this spring.
Delgado is scheduled to start Saturday for the D-backs against the Royals, but as for when the decision will be made, Gibson wouldn't say.
"We'll have a conversation, get opinions and try to understand what will work, but we're still in the process," Gibson said.
D-backs look to fill void left by Eaton's injury
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- With Adam Eaton out until at least the beginning of May, the D-backs began testing out their many outfield options on Friday, with just 10 days remaining until the season opener on April 1.
Because he had only played twice at the position this spring before Friday, A.J. Pollock, the club's No. 8 prospect according to MLB.com, got the start against the Indians in center field with Jason Kubel and Gerardo Parra flanking him in left and right.
D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said Pollock will play the next couple of days in center before alternating with Parra, who has played nine games this spring at the position so far.
Pollock appeared in 25 games for Arizona last season, making 14 starts in center, but wasn't expected to make the 25-man roster out of camp, before the injury bug hit his team's outfield.
Aside from Eaton, the D-backs are still missing their right fielder, Cody Ross, who hasn't played since March 3 with a calf injury and is in danger of missing Opening Day. Ross has been swinging the bat against Minor Leaguers while rehabbing and recently began running on a treadmill.
"I wouldn't rule Cody out," Gibson said. "I saw him jog across the outfield today. It's possible in a short period of time he could be running on the ground."
If Ross isn't ready for the start of the season, the Opening Day outfield will all but certainly be comprised of Kubel, Pollock and Parra.
Other potential D-backs who could fill in occasionally include Willie Bloomquist and Martin Prado, who Gibson said will play in the outfield on Saturday against the Royals. Arizona still has Tony Campana in its Major League camp, but the outfielder will miss the next three to four days after the stitches on his hand opened on Thursday.
The player who is farthest off the radar is Alfredo Marte, whom the D-backs brought back from its Minor League camp on Friday. Marte played in 17 games this spring in the outfield and had a .289 on-base percentage.
"We're anxious to see Marte again," Gibson said. "He's had a really good camp, he's come on really fast."
• Trevor Cahill, Heath Bell, J.J. Putz and Nelson Figueroa threw in Minor League games on Friday night at Salt River Fields against the Cubs. Cahill started the Triple-A game, while Figueroa, Bell and Putz appeared in the Double-A contest.
Cahill went 5 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on six hits with six strikeouts throwing 88 pitches. Putz had a strikeout in 1 1/3 innings, marking the first time this spring he has thrown two days in a row. Cahill was originally slated to pitch in the Major League game on Friday against the Indians, but the club opted to give Corbin the start instead. Bell struck out two in one inning, while Figueroa struck out three in three innings.
• In honor of the NCAA Tournament in full swing, Gibson reminisced about his time watching March Madness while in college at Michigan State. His final year at the school, 1979, was the season Magic Johnson led the Spartans to the national title.
Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.