Arizona Diamondbacks starter Patrick Corbin feeling ‘more and more comfortable’, eyes June return

Apr 29, 2015, 12:51 AM | Updated: 12:51 am

WATCH: Patrick Corbin on the bump pitching a simulated game.

Posted by Arizona Sports on Tuesday, April 28, 2015

PHOENIX — It certainly doesn’t replace pitching in front of 30,000 cheering fans, but considering where he was only 14 months prior, Arizona Diamondbacks starter Patrick Corbin can’t and certainly won’t complain.

He’s too close to the finish line.

With just a handful of onlookers, all wearing Sedona Red, Corbin stepped onto the Chase Field mound for a two-inning simulated game as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery.

“Felt fine; wasn’t tired at all so that was good,” he said. “Threw more changeups and sliders today. Everything felt great.”

Corbin threw 35 pitches one week after a 20-pitch effort when he faced hitters for the first time.

“It was good to sit down and get back up,” he said Tuesday. “The first time I was out here I was full bore the whole time. Today I knew I had a little bit more pitches so I wasn’t trying to go max effort, but it was still really close to that. I mean that would’ve been how I would’ve pitched in the game. Every time I get out there I feel more and more comfortable. Elbow feels fine. Right now it’s just a matter of building up pitch count.”

Among those on hand were manager Chip Hale, who moved from the stands behind home plate to the left of second base to watch the second inning.

“(Corbin) looked great,” he said. “His fastball looked good. He was throwing all of his pitches, throwing in; just felt good. He came off the mound and told (pitching coach) Mike (Harkey) he felt great.”

After an 18-pitch first inning, Corbin, who worked out of both the windup and stretch positions, took a five-minute break. He then fired off 17 more pitches to Danny Dorn, Cliff Pennington and Jordan Pacheco.

Two pitches backed Dorn and Pacheco off the plate.

“Just got away from me a little bit,” Corbin said. “I like to throw inside and just working on it a little bit. Command is coming along and some pitches were good and some got up and in. Thankfully it didn’t hit them, but just working on pitching inside.”

Corbin is scheduled to throw 45 pitches in a three-inning simulated game Monday at Salt River Fields.

“My first time, I felt pretty sore,” he said, referring to his next-day recovery. “Just the whole body — first time doing that in 14 months. It was just different, like max effort. Hopefully now I’m getting used to it, the body is getting used to it and things are feeling better. Arm feels great; just trying to get the rest of the body caught up and I think the only way you do that is facing hitters and getting back into games.”

The goal, according to Corbin, is to be pitching in big league games the first week of June.

“We’ll go from there and hopefully everything goes well,” he said. “One month away from now seems pretty short to me.”

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