As there are in most big league spring training camps, there will be plenty of position battles to monitor with the Arizona Diamondbacks as they prepare for the 2013 campaign.
One of the more interesting ones will be the competition for the fifth starting pitching spot.
The Diamondbacks have several candidates for the job, including 23-year-old Patrick Corbin, who feels like he’s ready to claim the job.
“I know I can pitch up here,” Corbin said Thursday. “There’s those games that you learn a lot from and that’s just one thing that I’m going to take from last year and just try to move forward on it.”
Corbin started the 2012 campaign at Double-A Mobile after pitching a team-high 21 innings in Cactus League play. But he got an early-season promotion to the Majors and made his debut in a 9-5 win over the Miami Marlins on April 30.
After three weeks with Arizona, Corbin was sent back to the minors. He’d eventually get promoted and sent down again before getting called up for good August 1. He says that process helped him get more comfortable pitching at the game’s highest level.
“The first time I was up here last year, I kind of wasn’t myself at all, and that’s probably the biggest thing I learned is just to be yourself out there,” Corbin said.
He went on to explain that he got help in that area from pitching coach Charles Nagy, catcher Miguel Montero and pitcher Ian Kennedy. “That’s one thing that they preached to me was to just be myself and the second time I up, when I got sent down,that’s what I did.”
Corbin, along with fellow left-hander Tyler Skaggs and recently acquired Randall Delgado, seem to be the front-runners for the last spot in the rotation.
“Me and Skaggs are close buddies and even when were with the Angels, whoever threw that day, we’d always try to beat them the next day,” he said. “I know (Kirk Gibson) loves a good competition around here and it just shows the talent that they have in this organization.”