The 2014 season is off to a bad start for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Patrick Corbin, who was tabbed as the team’s Opening Day starter for Saturday’s game in Australia against the Los Angeles Dodgers, didn’t make the trip after being diagnosed with damage to his ulnar collateral ligament.
The 24-year-old will seek a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews to determine whether or not he’ll need season-ending Tommy John surgery, which requires about a full year of rehabilitation.
Corbin left Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Cleveland Indians in the seventh inning with tightness in his forearm.
“I thought it was normal fatigue,” Corbin said Sunday. “Just a little tight from throwing, being a pitcher, it’s going to happen. Other than that, it was nothing out of the ordinary, I thought.
“The last three pitches (Saturday) felt a little worse than normal.”
Left-hander Wade Miley will now start against the Dodgers in the season opener.
The Diamondbacks do have pitching depth to fall back on, which is a plus according to manager Kirk Gibson.
“It’s certainly a wrinkle that was dealt to us. There’s other guys that have kind of come on our radar, and there’s guys in our minor leagues,” he said. “So, as we look throughout the year, we’re going to need our depth, we always do. And it’s an opportunity for somebody else to start a Major League career and be a good team player and pick their teammates up.”
In the event that Corbin does miss the 2014 campaign, general manager Kevin Towers is putting together a contingency plan.
“We’ll re-evaluate things when we get back (from Australia), but our in-house options are certainly Archie Bradley and Randall Delgado and even Josh Collmenter — most of those guys have been stretched out,” Towers said.
Corbin was one of the best pitchers in baseball prior to the All-Star break in 2013, compiling an 11-1 record and 2.35 ERA in 19 starts. He represented the Diamondbacks at the All-Star Game in New York, and was actually the losing pitcher for the National League in a 3-0 loss to the American League.
The left-hander struggled in the second half of the season, going 3-7 with a 5.19 ERA. Corbin doesn’t believe that this injury is related to anything that happened in 2013.
“I just think it’s a freak incident,” he said. “I think I’ve done everything I could to stay healthy and it just kind of sucks that it happened.”