Patrick Corbin underwent Tommy John elbow surgery in March and some pitchers return in 12 months, but the Diamondbacks have all but ruled out the 25-year-old left-hander for the beginning of next season.
In fact, manager Kirk Gibson told Scott Bodrow of the Arizona Republic that they’re targeting June for Corbin’s return, adding:
He’d probably punch me if heard me saying that but you’re really going to take your time and make sure he’s ready to go. You’re not going to expect him to come back and throw 220 innings. You kind of manage his rehab through innings and put him in a position to finish strong. We’re going to make sure we err on the side of very cautious.
Arizona watching as Daniel Hudson needed back-to-back Tommy John surgeries and several of the organization’s other prominent pitchers blew out their elbows recently probably pushed them further down the conservative approach, which is certainly fine. Prior to going under the knife Corbin threw 208 innings with a 3.41 ERA and 178 strikeouts as a 23-year-old in 2013. They need him for the next half-decade, not the first couple months of next season.
Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area hints that the Giants may be done with outfielder Hunter Pence. It’s not clear just how seriously the club is contemplating such a decision, but there are six days remaining on Pence’s rehab assignment, at which point they’ll be able to recall him, reassign him to the minors or release him.
The 35-year-old outfielder has struggled to make a full recovery after spraining his right thumb during the first week of the season. Pence bounced back for a 17-game run with the Giants in April, during which he slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 with one double and one stolen base in 61 plate appearances, but was eventually placed on the disabled list with recurring soreness in his finger. He currently sports a promising .318/.359/.388 batting line with four extra-base hits (including a grand slam) over 92 PA in Triple-A Sacramento.
Despite his recent resurgence in Triple-A, the Giants may not need the additional outfield depth just yet. Mac Williamson, who was recalled in the wake of Pence’s DL assignment, has already cemented the starting role in left field and is off to a strong start at the plate as well. Of course, if the Giants decide to say a premature goodbye to their veteran outfielder (who, it should be said, helped them to two World Series championships over the last seven seasons), it’ll cost them the remaining balance on his $18.5 million salary for 2018.