Corbin 'really excited' for first start since 2013

'I know I'm ready,' D-backs lefty says of return from Tommy John

Corbin 'really excited' for first start since 2013

PHOENIX -- Patrick Corbin will take the hill Saturday night against the Rockies in the left-hander's first Major League regular-season start since Sept. 27, 2013.

Corbin, who was scheduled to be the D-backs Opening Day starter in 2014, tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his final Spring Training start and underwent Tommy John surgery. He was initially scheduled to make his fifth rehab start Thursday for Triple-A Reno, but the team decided instead to start him Saturday in the big leagues.

"He's ready to go," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "He's physically ready and mentally ready."

The team will keep Corbin under the 90-pitch mark Saturday and at less than 100 the rest of the season.

"I know I'm ready," Corbin said. "I'm really excited about this day. The past 16 months this is what I've been working for. All the hard work and time that I've put into it with the training staff, everything will pay off [Saturday]."

Hale said the team will closely monitor Corbin's velocity and the break of his pitches as the game goes along Saturday to judge when to take him out.

While Corbin admitted there were times during the rehab process when he wondered if he would ever make it back, he has little doubt now that he can recapture the form that allowed him to go 14-8 with a 3.41 ERA in 32 starts in 2013.

"I'm confident that my stuff is still there and I'll be able to go out and compete and do my best," Corbin said. "To pick up a baseball and be able to throw it 60 feet again was a huge step and now my next step is going to be out there against a Major League team again."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.