Patrick Corbin pitched in his first sim game of Spring Training 2.0 on Saturday morning, in a relatively brief outing against his own teammates. Corbin’s manager Davey Martinez offered a brief assessment of the southpaw’s work on the mound.
“Pat threw the ball well,” Martinez said. “We wanted to keep him under 40 pitches, he threw 43, but he said he felt good. So we’ll go from there. The biggest thing was to get him three ups today, and he did well.”
It was Corbin’s first competitive action since he took the mound in what ended up being the final Grapefruit League game during Spring Training 1.0.
Several months after he took the hill back on March 12th in West Palm Beach, FL with four scoreless innings of work against New York’s Yankees, against whom the Nationals will be opening the season later this month, the 30-year-old, seven-year veteran was back at it, trying to ramp back up in the weeks that are left before the scheduled opener of the 60-game 2020 MLB campaign on the 23rd of July.
Corbin was asked on Sunday afternoon if he thought he’d have enough time to properly prepare for the 60-game season that starts in around two weeks.
“Yeah, I feel pretty good,” Corbin said in a Zoom call with reporters.
“I threw three innings yesterday, I feel pretty solid today, to where I will be able to throw a bullpen tomorrow, and get on a schedule and build up to four innings, and then five innings, and then hopefully be around six innings and try to get close to 100 pitches is kind of where I’m at, and I feel pretty positive that I’ll be able to get there.”
Though there was a significant amount of time between his final Grapefruit League outing and yesterday’s sim game, Corbin said he didn’t anticipate there being any problem with a quick build towards the abbreviated regular season schedule.
”I’d like to think I’m going to be ready to throw close to 100 pitches,” he said.
“In Spring we were up to four innings, so I was very close to getting ready for the season.
“My next start would have been five and then ready to go.
“I think this time it’s not going to take as long to get back up to that speed, so not throwing to live hitters and then going three innings yesterday, I feel pretty good doing that.”
A week and a half into this process, Corbin said everyone is adjusting to the new normal and they have a collective goal in mind, which is bringing baseball back to the fans.
“Everybody is just trying to get through this the best way we can and I think just at the end of the day we want to go out there play baseball.
“We want to play games that they can televise, that fans have an opportunity at home to watch us play, and we all miss that, and we’re trying to do everything we can to make sure we’re safe and that we’re able to get back on the field.”
In the first year of his 6-year/$140M deal with the Nationals, Corbin helped the club win the World Series, going (14-7) with a 3.25 ERA, 70 walks (3.12 BB/9), 238 strikeouts (10.60 K/9), and a .227/.293/.375 line against in 33 starts and 202 innings pitched in the regular season, before he made three starts and eight total appearances in the postseason, posting a 5.79 ERA in 23 1⁄3 IP (with six of 15 ER total he allowed coming in his disastrous initial relief outing in Game 3 of the NLDS).
Things are significantly different this time around, and they’ll have to continue to adjust once the game start up again, but they’re all working hard to make this season happen.
“Just continue to try to build up and ramp this up as best we can, and obviously things are different for everybody,” he said, “and we’re just trying to make sure we’re ready to go once the games that count start.”