Well, Patrick Corbin had himself a day.
In case you need an introduction, the following (taken from the pre-spring training post regarding the non-roster invites):
- Patrick Corbin – LHP
- Age: 22; Draft: 2009 – LA Angels of Anaheim, 2nd rd
- Service Time: MiLB – 2 years
- 2011 Highlights: 26G with AA Mobile
- 2011 Stats: 9-8 record; 4.21 ERA; 26G (26 starts); 160 IP; 8 SO/9; 2.2 BB/9
- Other things of note:
- Acquired from LAA in the Dan Haren trade.
- The number 5 prospect in the Dbacks’ system going into 2011.
- Was talked about as potentially playing a part, either in promotion or in trade at the deadline last year.
- Led his MiLB league in strikeouts, he was also pitcher of the week 3 times in 2011 and was a mid-season all-star.
- There’s a lot to like here. Probably someone to keep an eye on this spring.
- Can’t get enough?:
After today, however, he’s probably not going to need an introduction for much longer.
Facing the division rival Colorado Rockies, Patrick Corbin pitched 5 innings of no-hit ball and made it very clear that he’s not getting sent bak to the minor leagues without putting up a fight and making some noise.
The highlight video is posted at MLB.com. Click the image below to watch the highlights:
And, he helped his own cause in the bottom of the 4th innng, in his second at-bat of the game, he made solid contact and legged out a triple, gaining his second hit of the game and an RBI to help his own cause.
The kid’s got wheels. A stand-up triple is nothing to sneeze at, spring training or not.
Clicking on the image to the left will take you to the video.
And if you’ve ever wanted to see what a happy manager looks like, all you need to see is at 0:21 in this video.
The dugout was clapping, the manager was trying very hard not to smile (He has a reputation to uphold. It’s serious business up in here.), and the announcers were cracking up and Patrick Corbin looked pretty pleased with himself. As he should be.
Grace and Sutton were on the call (follow them @dbacksbooth) and, although they were laughing, what they were saying – that Patrick Corbin is Kirk Gibson‘s kind of player – couldn’t be more true.
A few months ago, I summed up the Kirk Gibson philosophy of playing hard for each and every one of the 27 outs in a baseball game, each and every time, as so:
‘you are a grown-up, professional human being, you are being paid very well to do your job and you will work as hard as you can until the game is over, deal with it or sit on the bench’.
So, its not hard to see that Patrick Corbin putting his head down and digging for third – instead of being merely satisfied with a double – is exactly the kind of attitude that he loves.
But, there’s more.
At the start of spring training, Kirk Gibson made it very clear at the beginning of spring training that he was very adamant that his pitchers get better at the plate.
In an interview with AZCentral.com on February 24, Kirk Gibson was not shy about pointing out his pitchers’ faults:
“We have to be better, period,” Gibson said. “The whole team has to be better at bunting. We were brutal. It wasn’t acceptable at all.”
There was also a report at that time that the Diamondbacks pitching staff had been working on bunting and slashing heavily during spring training morning workouts.
His reason for also stressing the slash hits?
“I’d love to pull them in and jam it down their throat.”
And, just in case you thought he was just spouting off for the media, there was an incident in the game on March 11th that reminded everyone that he was serious.
He always is.
Daniel Hudson – winner of the 2011 NL Silver Slugger and someone who knows how to handle a bat – came to the plate with 2 outs and nobody on in the top of the 4th. In spite of the fact that he’d pitched 3 perfect innings, he’d reached his pitch count and it was going to be his last at-bat of the game, with his reliever warmed up and ready to come in.
So, with 2 outs and nobody on, Daniel Hudson squared to bunt. Because that’s what spring training is for – getting ready for the season by getting better.
(As a side note, Daniel Hudson pitched against Barry Enright in an intersquad minor league game this afternoon. And, following the game, the “friendly competition” continued onto twitter. And, it appears that Daniel Hudson is still bunting, 2 weeks later.)
Going 2-for-2 with a single, a triple and an RBI is a good day at the plate, no matter who you are. If you’re a pitcher, however, it probably earns you a few extra brownie points.
And, in the same article, Daniel Hudson was asked about his approach at the plate that led to that Silver Slugger award last year.
”I don’t really have an approach, I just swing the bat.”
Well, in the top of the 4th, Patrick Corbin did just that.
And, then he put his head down and ran himself into a triple and, possibly (though still a longshot at this point) into a spot on the 25-man roster coming out of spring training.
“We’ve got nine games left so things could happen. There’s various things that could happen. He’s come out of the bullpen for us, he’s started for us and again he’s very athletic at what he does.”
Yes, Kirk Gibson – he certainly is.
Well, Patrick Corbin. Looks like you’ve officially put yourself on the map. Get comfy.