The 2012 season started great for Mike Fiers. He made his first major league start on May 29 and went on to post a 1.80 ERA over his first 13 appearances with an 80:16 K:BB ratio. There was a possibility that he was looking at a Rookie of the Year type season.
That dream start couldn't continue, however. And it came crashing down hard. His 14 appearance was his worst: He allowed eight earned runs in just two innings against the Colorado Rockies. Including that start, he finished the year with a 6.99 ERA and a .915 opponent OPS over his last 10 starts. His K/9 climbed above where it had been in the first half of his season, but everything else seemed to get worse.
During Spring Training, Fiers didn't inspire much confidence. Over 19.1 innings, he allowed 15 earned runs and 17 total runs. He gave up four home runs, a 13.5 H/9, and just a 16:8 K:BB ratio. Still, he managed to lay claim to the fifth starter spot. Chris Narveson will remain waiting in the bullpen if Fiers slips up, however.
Fiers made one start last year against the Diamondbacks. It came in his good half and he held Arizona scoreless over six innings. In fact, the only Diamondback on the roster who has gotten on base against Fiers is Miguel Montero, who had one hit. Fiers also had ten strikeouts in that game. Eight of them came against the six current Diamondbacks who have faced him.
For the Diamondbacks, 23-year-old Patrick Corbin will take the mound making his first start of 2013. Like Fiers, Corbin was also a rookie last season. Corbin was a bigger prospect than Fiers, though, despite still being firmly in the second rung in the Diamondbacks organization behind Trevor Bauer, Tyler Skaggs, and Archie Bradley. However, Bauer was traded in the offseason and Skaggs and Bradley are still not ready for the majors. That left Corbin with the fifth spot in the Arizona rotation.
Corbin was called up to start the April 30 game last season and ended up sticking with the team the rest of the year pitching both in the rotation and in the bullpen. He had his ups and downs all season long. He started shaky, then found his groove towards the middle of the season, and finished poorly. Overall, he ended up with a 4.54 ERA and 4.00 FIP with a 7.23 K/9 and 2.10 BB/9.
Corbin came on in relief against the Brewers on July 1 last season. He pitched the ninth inning of a tie game when he walked the first batter, Aramis Ramirez, who was pulled in favor of pinch runner Carlos Gomez. Corey Hart flew out. Then Gomez did this:
(H/t Disciples of Uecker)
Corbin throws four pitches: A 91 MPH two-seamer (40% of pitch selection), a 91 MPH four-seamer (29%), a 79 MPH slider (17%) and an 80 MPH changeup (14%).
In the bullpen:
- Mike Gonzalez pitched 0.2 innings (21 pitches) yesterday, and also pitched on Tuesday and Wednesday.
- Tom Gorzelanny pitched 1 inning (14 pitches) yesterday, and also pitched on Tuesday and Wednesday.
- Burke Badenhop pitched 0.1 innings (13 pitches) yesterday.
- Brandon Kintzler pitched 1 inning (8 pitches) yesterday.
- Alfredo Figaro pitched 1.1 innings (26 pitches) Wednesday.
- John Axford pitched .2 innings (18 pitches) Wednesday.
- Jimmy Henderson pitched one inning (eleven pitches) Wednesday.
- Chris Narveson last pitched on Tuesday.
It's expected to be a pleasant 60 degrees at game time tonight. Good thing Miller Park has a roof, because there is also the potential for some showers.