Patrick Corbin diagnosed with “damage” to left UCL

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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.

Sandy Koufax to be honored with statue at Dodger Stadium

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Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax will be honored with a statue at Dodger Stadium, expected to be unveiled in 2020. Dodger Stadium will be undergoing major renovations, expected to cost around $100 million, after the season. Koufax’s statue will go in a new entertainment plaza beyond center field. The current statue of Jackie Robinson will be moved into the same area.

Koufax, 83, had a relatively brief career, pitching parts of 12 seasons in the majors, but they were incredible. He was a seven-time All-Star who won the National League Cy Young Award three times (1963, ’65-66) and the NL Most Valuable Player Award once (’63). He contributed greatly to the ’63 and ’65 championship teams and authored four no-hitters, including a perfect game in ’65.

Koufax was also influential in other ways. As Shaikin notes, Koufax refused to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series to observe Yom Kippur. It was an act that would attract national attention and turn Koufax into an American Jewish icon.

Ahead of the 1966 season, Koufax and Don Drysdale banded together to negotiate against the Dodgers, who were trying to pit the pitchers against each other. They sat out spring training, deciding to use their newfound free time to sign  on to the movie Warning Shot. Several weeks later, the Dodgers relented, agreeing to pay Koufax $125,000 and Drysdale $110,000, which was then a lot of money for a baseball player. It would be just a few years later that Curt Flood would challenge the reserve clause. Koufax, Drysdale, and Flood helped the MLB Players Association, founded in 1966, gain traction under the leadership of Marvin Miller.