The Arizona Diamondbacks are officially ready for the start of the 2013 season after naming Patrick Corbin as the team's No. 5 starter in the rotation. The D-backs wrapped up their spring/exhibition season on Saturday at Chase Field against the Cincinnati Reds, and the fifth starter was one of the last decisions that needed to be made by manager Kirk Gibson.
"Patrick is going to start. We sent Randall (Delgado) to Reno. Right now we've got Patrick slated to start Saturday," said Gibson after the game.
Delgado was battling Corbin for the final spot in the rotation but in the end Gibson said Corbin was their guy.
"Well he had one shaky start out of all his starts. Thought he was really good. We were just talking to him and he was very confident coming in," said Gibson. "He's a very confident kid but he said he learned a lot last year when he was here; he came up, went down and then came back up. He just knew that if he was himself and worked on becoming a better pitcher himself and he felt confident that he would win the job. That's just kind of how Patrick is."
The 23-year-old was 6-9 with a 4.54 ERA in three stints with the D-backs in 2012. He pitched in 22 games, had 17 starts and recorded 107 innings of work.
Gibson and the coaching staff felt that the left-hander improved parts of his game and did what they asked of him this spring.
"Just from his first start and the things we saw in his starts as we reviewed him, things we asked him to work on, (Friday) he did a very good job at that," said Gibson. "So he's more advanced at what we think is going to help him be successful for us this year."
As a rookie last year, Corbin ranked fourth in wins (6) in the National League, fourth in strikeouts (86) and tied for fifth in innings pitched (107).
Corbin made his major league debut on April 30 at the age of 22 years and 286 days. At that time, he was the youngest pitcher to make his first big league start in a D-backs uniform since Edgar Gonzalez on June 1, 2003. Gonzalez was 20 years and 98 days old.
The newly-appointed No. 5 starter is scheduled to pitch on Saturday against the Brewers in Milwaukee. Gibson said he could swap Corbin and Wade Miley for Friday and Saturday's starts, depending on how Miley bounces back from his game Saturday against the Reds in the spring season finale.