Diamondbacks tab lefty Patrick Corbin for opening day start against Rockies

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Left-hander Patrick Corbin has been chosen to start for the Arizona Diamondbacks on opening day.

Manager Torey Lovullo made the announcement Saturday. He'll make his first opening day start Thursday night when the Diamondbacks host Colorado -- Arizona beat the Rockies last year in the NL wild-card game.

Corbin was 14-13 with a 4.03 ERA in 32 starts last season.

"I'm just excited. I'm honored to go out there. I feel well prepared and ready to go. I got all my work in that I needed to this spring," Corbin said.

The opportunity for Corbin arose from a groin injury to Diamondbacks ace Zack Greinke, who is still working his way back to full strength. Greinke was recently ruled out for opening day.

Greinke threw a quick bullpen session on Saturday morning and Lovullo hopes he will be ready to pitch the third game of the season-opening series against the Rockies.

Left-hander Robbie Ray was also seriously considered, but Lovullo chose to keep him on his spring schedule.

"A very well-deserved honor," Lovullo said of choosing Corbin. "Told him, `That's a lot of hard work and dedication that got you back to this moment."

The 28-year-old Corbin was in line to be the opening day starter in 2014, coming off a 14-8 record during an All-Star season in 2013. But he suffered an injury in his throwing arm during a spring training game and had to have Tommy John surgery.

Corbin missed all of the 2014 season and part of 2015, and went 5-13 with a 5.15 ERA in 2016. He was moved to the bullpen that year.

Lovullo told Corbin the news before Corbin's most recent spring training start, Friday against Cleveland.

"Just glad this time I'm ready to go and healthy," Corbin said. "He brought up 2014, too, and how that year didn't quite happen for me. So he was happy for me to be able to get another shot at this."

Corbin said he feels his career has come full circle.

"I knew I always had it in there, it just took a little bit to figure it out and kind of get back," he said. "I feel really close to where I was, if not there."

Corbin will be followed by Ray in the rotation, and if Greinke isn't ready by next Saturday, the club will have to make a decision. Taijuan Walker and Zack Godley are also part of the Arizona starting rotation.

Godley started Saturday in a split-squad game against the Kansas City Royals. He gave up a solo home run to Mike Moustakas in the first inning.

Game notes
The Diamondbacks on Saturday acquired utility infielder Deven Marrero from the Boston Red Sox for a player to be named or cash. Arizona also selected the contract of RHP Fernando Salas and designated RHP Albert Suarez for assignment. Salas has posted a 0.90 ERA in 10 spring innings. ... Lovullo has yet to name a closer for the Diamondbacks. Archie Bradley, Brad Boxberger and Yoshihisa Hirano are the candidates. ... C Jeff Mathis returned to major league game action on Saturday against Kansas City, his first spring training game in 10 days. He'd been dealing with back tightness. ... RHP Randall Delgado, a reliever, threw a bullpen session Saturday. He has an oblique injury and Lovullo said it looks like he will start the season on the disabled list.