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.
The Mets signed left-hander Matt Purke to a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Purke will also receive an invitation to spring training, where he could presumably beef up the club’s left-handed relief options alongside Jerry Blevins and Josh Smoker.
Purke has not appeared in the majors since 2016, when he was used in a dozen relief appearances by the White Sox. The 27-year-old racked up a 5.50 ERA, 6.0 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 in his first 18 innings with the team, and was demoted to Triple-A Charlotte in June to finish out the season. He spent the entire 2017 season in Triple-A as well, showing more promise with a 3.84 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 in 48 appearances.
While Purke may not amount to much more than a depth piece in New York’s ‘pen, the veteran lefty figures to be part of the Mets’ new bullpen-first strategy next year. Reports from MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo indicate that the club will be focusing on improving their relief options in order to ease the workload of their starting pitchers, and will likely add a few more arms before the offseason comes to a close.