When Patrick Corbin entered camp this spring, the 23-year-old wasn't even sure he'd have a job with the Arizona Diamondbacks to start the season.
Flash forward nearly a quarter of the way through the 2013 campaign, and Corbin's pitched like the ace of the D-backs' staff (6-0 record with 1.52 ERA) and arguably put together a start that rivals Randy Johnson (2000) and Brandon Webb (2008).
Corbin has gone at least seven innings in each of his eight starts, while allowing two earned runs or less. Arizona is also 8-0 in those starts.
"He's one of those guys when he takes the mound, you know you've got a chance to win each and every time," D-backs general manager Kevin Towers told Arizona Sports Doug & Wolf Wednesday. "As tough as the 10-1 loss was (against the Braves Monday), we all talked about it internally and said we got the right guy going on the mound tomorrow. He's going to pitch inside, he's going to give them some very uncomfortable at-bats."
Corbin was indeed the guy the D-backs needed to snap their three-game losing streak. In Tuesday's 2-0 victory over Atlanta, the left-hander battled command issues (five walks), but managed to induce three double-play balls en route to seven scoreless innings.
It's a little early to be talking about the starting nod for the National League All-Star team, but Towers said he received a rather high compliment regarding Corbin while with the team in Los Angeles last week.
"Well, being left-handed with the stuff he has is going to make him good automatically," said Towers. "But I had a veteran scout -- that I respect greatly -- come up to me the other day in L.A. and say, 'This guy may be just a tick below Kershaw.'
"When you start comparing a young pitcher like Patrick Corbin to Clayton Kershaw -- and by a veteran scout who has seen both pitchers -- it leads me to believe that as long as we can knock on wood and keep him healthy, good things are on the horizon for this kid. They already are, and I think it could get even better."
That's definitely not bad company to be compared to.
Kershaw, 25, has pitched in parts of six seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers and has a career 65-39 record. He also won the 2011 Cy Young Award and is a two-time All-Star.