Patrick Corbin was never considered an elite prospect and had a decent but unspectacular rookie season for the Diamondbacks last year, throwing 107 innings with a 4.54 ERA and 86/25 K/BB ratio. He had to compete for the fifth starter job this spring and now … well, it’s safe to say his rotation spot is secure.
Corbin tossed a complete game against the Rockies last night, allowing just one run on three hits at Coors Field, and the 2009 second-round pick is now 7-0 with a 1.44 ERA overall this season.
His secondary numbers aren’t a whole lot different than last season, with nearly identical strikeout and walk rates, but he’s allowed just two homers in 62.1 innings after serving up 14 in 107 innings last year. He’s also been extremely fortunate in terms of batting average on balls in play and men left on base and all the usual stuff that says he’ll come back down to earth soon enough.
But for now … wow. Corbin has thrown at least six innings in all nine starts and has yet to allow more than two runs. He finished April with a 1.91 ERA and it’s gone down in each of his four starts this month, which is pretty damn hard to do. Not bad for a guy who was considered the “other” prospect in the Diamondbacks’ haul from the Angels for Dan Haren.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.
Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.
As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.