The recent loss of Patrick Corbin to season-ending Tommy John surgery has put the Arizona Diamondbacks in a situation they are far too familiar with.
Based on how things went last year with Matt Reynolds taking time to try and rehab from an ulnar collateral ligament tear, only to have the procedure at a later date, the D-backs are taking a different approach to Corbin’s recovery.
“I think we all kind of knew what they would probably find in Dr. Andrews’ office,” D-backs general manager Kevin Towers told Doug and Wolf of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “I think they felt the same as Dr. Lee felt when he was examined here in Phoenix.
“The report we got back to our training staff was that surgery was definitely needed. We felt, even before [Corbin] went there, that rather than trying to do what we did with Reynolds, giving him three to four months to try to avoid surgery which just kind of pushed things back, Patrick mentally wanted to get it done so he could start the rehab process and hopefully be ready for next year.”
Reynolds, a relief pitcher, was sidelined on June 10 and diagnosed with a slight UCL tear, but didn’t have the surgery until Sept. 24. The left-hander will start this season on the 15-day disabled list, but still has months of progress to make before pitching again.
The D-backs are hoping that Corbin’s recovery will be smoother than pitcher Daniel Hudson’s rehab process, which called for two times under the knife.
Hudson, a right-handed starter, underwent the procedure on July 9, 2012, only to re-tear his UCL in a rehab start 11 months later. After a second surgery, Hudson signed a minor league contract with the D-backs, despite not staring a game since June 26, 2012.
“Hudson and Corbin are just warriors on the mound,” Towers said. “Those are two guys that kind of set the tone for your entire rotation. To not have those two type of guys in your rotation, it hurts. You just got to move on and hopefully it will provide an opportunity for another young starter to hopefully step up and get the same type of opportunity Patrick had last year.”
“It has happened throughout baseball. It’s not just us. It seems like every other day you are hearing about another guy, either a starter or a reliever going down.”