Believe it or not, Opening Day in Major League Baseball is less than four weeks away.
The Arizona Diamondbacks will face the Los Angeles Dodgers in Sydney, Australia March 22.
The trip creates some interesting managerial challenges, no doubt. Like whom to take and whom to leave home? The Diamondbacks and Dodgers will be allowed to take 30 players each to Australia, 27 of whom will be eligible to play.
With only two games down under, and the need for only two starting pitchers, D-backs skipper Kirk Gibson has to decide on which of his starting hurlers will make the trek to Sydney.
For instance, Patrick Corbin, who was an All-Star in 2013 and led the D-backs with 13 wins. He’ll likely be Arizona’s number-one starter, but might not go on the trip.
“Corbin threw a lot of innings (last year), for him, so maybe it’s the smart thing to leave him back,” Gibson told Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Tuesday. “But at the same time, he might be the best pitcher and in the end if we decide that he is, he’ll go.”
Corbin, 24, pitched 208.1 innings in his first full Major League season — enough for eighth-most in the National League.
Even though the games in Australia will count in the official standings, it may not be worth it to tax the youngster with unnecessary travel. But ultimately, Gibson hasn’t made his mind up just yet.
“I think we’ll try to get through this first week — we’ve got three double-headers, so we’ll see where we’re at, and we’ll realign people if we have to from that point,” Gibson said.
Regardless of what players are on the charter flight, Gibson says the Diamondbacks have one clearly defined goal for their trip.
“Our intention is to try and win both games.”