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D-backs Corbin sizzling two years after Tommy John surgery

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Arizona Diamondbacks left-handed pitcher Patrick Corbin is having a superb spring.

Corbin is 2-0 with an 0.63 earned run average in 14.1 innings and has struck out 17 batters.

Things were a lot different for Corbin two years ago Friday. He was in Pensacola, Fla., having Tommy John surgery to repair a partial tear in his ulnar collateral ligament.

It was a long road back for Corbin but, after missing spring training, he had a successful 2015 season with the D-backs, going 6-5 with a 3.60 ERA in 85 innings.

“It was 16 months until I was back into a game,” Corbin said. “I thought last year, I just proved to myself that I could come back from an injury and be just as effective as I was (before the injury). That’s in the past now and I am just excited to move forward from this and go out there and make every start this season.”

As evidenced by his sizzling spring numbers, Corbin said he feels good and is working on building up his pitch count and going deeper into games as he gets ready for the start of the regular season. He worked on one of his secondary pitches during his recovery from Tommy John surgery.

“I am just making sure my body is healthy and going out there every time and trying to get better. My fastball command is always the first thing you are trying to get at and my changeup as well is something I have worked on ever since I was hurt and recovering. It’s something that I think will be effective for me this season.”

The D-backs’ pitching staff looks a lot different than it did last year with the additions of star pitchers Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller and Corbin back in the fold this spring.

Arizona’s bullpen led the majors in relief innings last year. Corbin said that should change this season.

“I think it well help our bullpen a lot. Just having those guys, Shelby (Miller) and Zack (Greinke) who go deep in the ballgames every game and for me being able to go out there and have a higher pitch count will help as well. It will just keep our bullpen fresh and be better prepared for a full season.”

Unlike pitchers Jose Fernandez and Matt Harvey, who have both had inning and pitch count limits in the past after recovering from Tommy John surgery, Corbin expects a full workload in 2016.

“I think I am healthy and going to go out there and pitch and make every fifth start.”

Corbin is confident he can regain his pre-surgery form and be even better than the 14-game winner and All-Star he was in 2013.

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