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Patrick Corbin diagnosed with “damage” to left UCL

Mar 16, 2014, 12:15 PM EDT

patrick corbin getty Getty Images

Brutal news Sunday out of Diamondbacks camp.

According to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, staff ace Patrick Corbin has been diagnosed with “damage to the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow.” Corbin is going to seek a second opinion, but a damaged UCL almost always leads to Tommy John surgery, which would cost the young left-hander the entire 2014 season and maybe even part of 2015.

Corbin had been projected to start the MLB season-opener on March 22 against the Dodgers in Australia. Wade Miley is going to pitch instead.

Corbin, 24, posted a 3.41 ERA, 1.166 WHIP, and 178 strikeouts in 208 1/3 innings last season.

That type of production is impossible to replace at this point, but the Diamondbacks could now consider opening the year with top pitching prospect Archie Bradley in the starting rotation.

  1. grizzlystrike - Mar 16, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    Thank god Towers traded Tyler Skaggs for Trumbo

  2. yahmule - Mar 16, 2014 at 12:29 PM

    Man, that is very disappointing. I really loved watching that buzzsaw slider and the way he got ahead of batters. Best of luck to the young man.

  3. barrybondsisthealltimehomerunking - Mar 16, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    Sucks for him, good for Archie Bradley though.

  4. paperlions - Mar 16, 2014 at 12:44 PM

    Last year when Harvey went down with a torn UCL, I wondered aloud (on these very boards) if it could be a result of his magical slider, which just magically showed up one day. The slider is considered to be very hard on the elbow (not unlike a slit finger), and I wondered if Harvey’s slider and the extensive use of it contributed significantly to his elbow issues. Another poster wondered if that could apply to Corbin, another pitcher with a fantastic slider that showed a major jump in performance and who leaned on that slider a lot, and that it would be interesting to keep an eye on him in the future.

    Well, that didn’t take long. To be clear, I am not bragging, just connecting the dots on observations…this sucks for both pitchers, organizations, and for baseball fans in general.

    • zdravit - Mar 16, 2014 at 12:55 PM

      Ban effective sliders? I approve.

      • paperlions - Mar 16, 2014 at 1:00 PM

        Well, no. But there may be a correlation between slider use and TJS likelihood….the more effective a slider, the more often pitchers will use it.

        I also wonder if the sudden development of the pitch contributed, a change in mechanics may have lead to the effectiveness of the pitch as well as the injury.

    • NatsLady - Mar 16, 2014 at 1:00 PM

      Strasburg is reportedly adding a slider this season. (shiver)

      • paperlions - Mar 16, 2014 at 1:02 PM


        I realize that guys are always trying to get better….but he doesn’t have much room for improvement. Start praying that his slider sucks and he abandons it.

      • NatsLady - Mar 16, 2014 at 1:24 PM

        Did you see what Wainwright said about him? His arm is a gift from the gods.

      • jamaicanjasta - Mar 16, 2014 at 1:51 PM

        I’d be more concerned with Strasburg’s mechanics causing stress on his elbow than the addition of a slider; it’s a similar concern I had with Beachy 😦.

      • paperlions - Mar 16, 2014 at 2:06 PM

        I had not seen that….he’s usually a pretty good interview. I love when the cross promotion thing is so obvious: yeah, I’ll do an interview, but you have to ask me a question about this product I’m sponsoring and let me get my pitch in.

      • leylandshospicenurse - Mar 16, 2014 at 2:23 PM

        His other offerings are so good, he won’t have to rely on it.

      • gibbyfan - Mar 16, 2014 at 5:45 PM

        Any MLB pitcher with a multi million dollar contract could be said to have a gift from the Gods

    • yahmule - Mar 16, 2014 at 4:43 PM

      You can see how he would want to throw it a lot. Todd Helton called it the best slider he ever saw and I imagine he’s seen a few.

    • larrythecat5 - Mar 17, 2014 at 3:28 PM

      You are on to something there paperlions. I was listening to my Giants in the Cactus League yesterday and Mike Krukow talked about this during the broadcast. He is bummed about Patrick Corbin as he was very impressed by the kid last year and saw him as a foundation for a young Diamondback staff.Anyway, Kruk specifically talked about the slider being tough on arms, but especially he focused on this:

      Starters that get to the Major Leagues now are not 2 pitch guys anymore; they are expected to have 3 to 4 pitches at least. These different pitches being thrown regularly on the side and during starts put a tremendous load on the arm of a pitcher. Different pronantions or the elbow and forearm, with the slider, split finger, changeup, even the cutter. Krukow feels this has to be a reason for the increase in pitcher arm injuries.

      Also, Kruk brought up Dodger trainer Stan Conte: Conte spoke at a SABR conference this past Thursday, talking about injuries. Here is a snippet: “Injuries in baseball are going up,” Conte said. “They are not going down and they’re not staying level. The last two years have been the highest amount of lost time in Major League Baseball ever.”

  5. paperlions - Mar 16, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    Man, guys will do anything to get out of going on that Australia trip. Fake injuries, have kids, even get legitimate injuries.

    • historiophiliac - Mar 16, 2014 at 1:15 PM

      And don’t forget they had to bribe that one guy into going with a dating contest.

      • paperlions - Mar 16, 2014 at 1:16 PM

        Yeah, I assume that falls under the category of “doing it the right way”, as Gibson has been fond of saying that the D-Backs do things the right way more than other teams (specifically, the Dodgers).

      • historiophiliac - Mar 16, 2014 at 1:18 PM

        Can we have our Peralta back now, please?

    • spudchukar - Mar 16, 2014 at 1:18 PM

      Tyler Lyons for Didi Gregorius? By the way what is the update on Gast?

      • paperlions - Mar 16, 2014 at 1:23 PM

        That would be interesting.

        I have no faith at all in Gregorius’ bat. None. He sucked hard after a hot start and never hit in the minors. When a guy goes through the minors without ever being an above average hitter for the league, it is hard to project that he’s going to be an average MLB hitter. The glove seems to be very solid….I’d rather have him on the bench that Descalso or Kozma though, better defense, and possibly better offense. Definitely an upgrade over the current backup SS options….and while I love Lyon’s potential as a solid mid-rotation guy…you got to take advantage of that depth at some point.

      • paperlions - Mar 16, 2014 at 1:45 PM

        The more I think about it…the more I like that kind of deal…would improve organizational depth at SS and they’d still have fantastic SP depth.

        Another interesting idea would be to ask for Stryker Trahan. He was improving at C, but for some weird reason the D-Backs decided to move him to the OF. You never want to move a guy so far down the defensive spectrum until he gives you reason to….the kid is young, built for catching, and has shown some promise…the Cards have no C depth at all.

      • spudchukar - Mar 16, 2014 at 2:40 PM

        Yeah, I wondered about Cervelli, when the Yanks talked about making him available. I know the Cards like Cruz as a back-up, but if Molina would go down to injury, they would be in a bind. Cervelli, would be a pretty solid replacement.

      • paperlions - Mar 16, 2014 at 2:16 PM

        RE: Gast

        Last I heard, his shoulder injury was very significant and the rehab time table was around 18 months. He’s doing fine, I guess, in that he’s “on schedule”, but they won’t know what he’s got until he comes back (if he does).

      • spudchukar - Mar 16, 2014 at 2:41 PM

        Thanks, seems like a long time, but they know best.

      • paperlions - Mar 16, 2014 at 2:50 PM

        Some other player had a similar issue not long ago and it took forever for him to come back…can’t remember who (not a Cardinal)…the injury is a soft tissue injury that apparently takes forever to heal and strengthen.

      • spudchukar - Mar 16, 2014 at 3:02 PM

        OK, thanks.

  6. hildezero - Mar 16, 2014 at 1:11 PM

    Dammit. That sucks. I just hope he doesn’t become another Brandon Webb for us, then we’ll really be in trouble in the future.

  7. historiophiliac - Mar 16, 2014 at 1:14 PM


    • gbrim - Mar 16, 2014 at 1:18 PM

      Not until he is ready. Rushing him will make him worse, and the team no better. Their long shot chances this year just got a lot longer and rushing their best prospect won’t solve that problem. Time for Towers/Kendrick to learn patience, which neither of them have shown in the past….

    • NatsLady - Mar 16, 2014 at 1:39 PM

      V is looking good and Ausmus has your boys stealing bases. A lot. Big Cats are the best team I’ve seen this spring.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 16, 2014 at 1:47 PM

        Yeah, I’m liking what I’ve seen so far (except Krol and Coke — that sounds like a bad drink). There will definitely be more small ball this year. I don’t know what to make of it!

      • historiophiliac - Mar 16, 2014 at 5:54 PM

        Are those your regular broadcast guys? They suck.

      • historiophiliac - Mar 16, 2014 at 5:54 PM

        I mean, they aren’t good.

        Edit function!

  8. stercuilus65 - Mar 16, 2014 at 1:15 PM

    Kevin Towers is furious and wants payback!

    • yahmule - Mar 16, 2014 at 4:46 PM

      The laws of human physiology can expect to get dotted next time up.

  9. phillysports1 - Mar 16, 2014 at 1:36 PM

    Not a dbacks fan , but I predicted them to win the World Series this year over Texas in 7 games . If he misses time , I’ll take that back !!!

  10. kingscourt25 - Mar 16, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    Is Gibby the new Dusty?

  11. blabidibla - Mar 16, 2014 at 5:49 PM

    Delgado before Bradley. Bradley after his arbitration clock allows.

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