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D-backs’ CEO Derrick Hall: Pitcher Patrick Corbin ‘vital’ to rotation

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Patrick Corbin throws a pitch to a San Diego Padres batter during the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Orlando Ramirez)

LISTEN: Derrick Hall, Diamondbacks President and CEO

The day after Arizona Diamondback pitcher Patrick Corbin’s first 2018 spring training start, team president and CEO Derrick Hall affirmed his spot in the rotation on Doug & Wolf.

“He’s vital to us right now,” Hall said on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

On Wednesday, Corbin threw two innings, striking out a pair in the first inning and allowing a home run in the second. He threw 29 pitches, 19 of which were strikes.

This comes after an offseason of trade speculation for the southpaw.

Instead, Corbin will remain in Arizona and try to continue where he left off; after allowing 34 runs over seven games from May 6 to June 8, he settled down and threw an ERA of 3.32 over his final 20 starts.

Hall said the pitcher’s fastball and slider command is back. He’s hoping Corbin can return to his All-Star 2013 form, a season in which his ERA didn’t break 2.50 until August 25.

“He was easily one of the best at the (All-Star break), one of the top-5 pitchers in baseball,” Hall said. “He’s just now back to the point where he’s got that confidence.”

It took four years. Corbin wore down over the final two months of the 200-inning season in 2013, then hurt his UCL in March 2014 and underwent Tommy John surgery. After missing the entirety of that season and only throwing 85 innings in 2015, Corbin struggled over the next season and a half.

Now that he’s showing flashes of what made him a young All-Star, Hall is optimistic Corbin can be a capable lefty behind Robbie Ray.

As stands, here is the Diamondbacks’ rotation:

Zack Greinke (R)

Robbie Ray (L)

Taijuan Walker (R)

Patrick Corbin (L)

Zack Godley (R)

Hall said that Archie Bradley will “definitely” remain in the bullpen this year. His role is uncertain, but Hall said management has talked about avoiding bullpen labels and assignments.

They want to decide based on situation, not inning.

“It becomes just as vital in the seventh inning to shut them down, especially the middle of the order, than it does in the ninth inning when you may have a three-run lead by then and you’re going to be facing seven, eight, nine in their order,” Hall said.

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