Older, wiser Corbin looking to build on 2013 success

In a season filled with many ups but even more downs, no one could ever question Patrick Corbin‘s 2013 season with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

From not knowing if he’d be on the Opening Day roster, to a well-deserved All-Star appearance and eventual 14-game winner the 24-year-old New York native saw it all last year. In some ways his late-season struggles (1-4, 7.04 ERA in September) mirrored his teams as the Dbacks slid back in the NL West standings.

With his arm and, just as important, mind rested after experiencing the rigors of a full MLB slate, Corbin and the Snakes are looking for a bounce back season, one which started earlier than normal since Arizona will play a two-game series with the Dodgers in Sydney, Australia next month before resuming Cactus League play and hosting their home opener on March 31. Pitchers and catchers reported to Salt River Fields on February 6th.

“I think this [early camp] is new for everybody,” Corbin recently told Sports360AZ.com. “I just think guys want to make sure they’re ready for these games…they’re starting to get after it in their bullpen [sessions]. Guys are to the point where they’re almost there and ready for the games.”

2013 proved Corbin is much more than simply a “piece” acquired in the Dan Haren deal with the Angels. Despite a rocky September he still posted a 3.41 ERA in 32 starts and could have had several more wins if not for a shaky bullpen behind him.  He’s a top-of-the-rotation young left-hander who the organization is banking on for big things this season and beyond.

Judging from what we saw last year, who’s to doubt them.

While the Dbacks lost out on the bidding war for Japanese ace Masahiro Tanaka who signed a hefty seven-year deal, $155 million deal with the Yankess they did acquire steady, veteran starter Bronson Arroyo who joins a crowded rotation which could include young phenom and former 1st-round hard-thrower Archie Bradley. Corbin believes Arroyo is a good fit in Arizona.

“He’s a veteran,” Corbin explained. “Maybe that’s something that we need with this pitching staff to help some of the younger guys and some of the older guys, as well.”