Goldy, Corbin make giant leap as All-Star teammates
D-backs duo also showcased talent at Double-A Southern League event in 2011
NEW YORK -- Two years ago at this time, Paul Goldschmidt and Patrick Corbin played in the Double-A Southern League All-Star Game. This year, they're representing the D-backs and the National League in the Major Leagues' annual Midsummer Classic on Tuesday night at Citi Field.
That's quite a leap in so short a period.
"This is nothing we ever could have thought of," left-handed pitcher Corbin said during Monday's media session at the ballpark. "I came up with Goldy ever since I was traded to the Diamondbacks by the Angels [on July 25, 2010]. I've been on most of the teams with him, saw what a great player he was and how much success he had.
"It's just cool for us to be up here. We're going to really enjoy it because you never know when or if it will happen again. I'm excited we're both here."
Ditto, Goldschmidt, the first baseman who had 30 homers and 94 RBIs for Double-A Mobile when he was called up to the D-backs for good shortly after the All-Star break two years ago.
"I was just thinking about it the other day," Goldschmidt said. "Two years ago, me, Corbin and [Rays left-hander] Matt Moore were all on the Double-A Southern League All-Star Team together. And now we're all here. That's pretty cool. Obviously it's happened quick. I don't really think about it much. I enjoy being here and I enjoy playing baseball every day."
Goldschmidt, 25, made his big league debut on Aug. 1, 2011, and his play down the stretch that season helped the D-backs win the NL West.
After Goldschmidt posted an .850 OPS mark in 2012, the D-backs locked him up this spring to a five-year, $32 million deal.
Goldschmidt doesn't like talking about himself and makes it a point not to read anything written about him. He said he doesn't even watch his own team's highlights if they come on television.
Kidded on Monday about his economy of words, Goldschmidt wasn't tempted to say much more than, "I'm happy to be here."
"That's about all you're going to get," he said. "You can write whatever you want."
Including a Paul Goldschmidt treatise? "Well, no," he said.
Goldschmidt's modesty is recognized by his peers. In a sign of respect, Goldschmidt was selected for the game on the players' ballot, easily outdistancing Joey Votto by a margin of 508-347. He finished second on the fans' ballot, which selected the Reds' first baseman to the NL's starting lineup.
In the weeks before the All-Star rosters were announced, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson reached out to NL manager Bruce Bochy to plead the All-Star case for Goldschmidt.
"He would enjoy his time [with Goldschmidt]," Gibson said he told Bochy. "He's a guy that [Boch] would want to have coached and had a chance to spend some time with. I just wanted to relay that."
In the end, it was Goldschmidt's numbers that did the talking: a .313 batting average, 21 homers and an NL-leading 77 RBIs.
For Corbin, the game is an opportunity to return to his home state for the third time this year.
The 23-year-old native of Clay, N.Y., located upstate near Syracuse, pitched seven innings of one-run ball at Yankee Stadium in April, and also pitched July 2 against the Mets on a rainy night at Citi Field, losing his only decision of the first half.
Corbin, who is 11-1 with a 2.35 ERA, outdueled a pair of other hurlers to win the No. 5 spot in the Arizona rotation this spring, but he quickly became the team's ace.
"It's impressive," D-backs Opening Day starter Ian Kennedy said earlier this year. "You're talking about a guy who people said might barely make the team in the fifth spot. He pitches well in Spring Training, but it's Spring Training. Then the season starts and it's like he's doing pretty good now, he's on a roll now. I'm impressed."
Corbin won his first nine decisions and the D-backs were 17-2 in his 19 starts before the break.
"He's pitching with a lot of confidence," catcher Miguel Montero said. "Obviously he's maturing."
Corbin's final start before the break was Friday night against the Brewers and he allowed just one run while matching his career high with 10 strikeouts in a 2-1 win. He also threw 113 pitches, the most he's ever thrown in a big league game.
Corbin already has thrown 130 1/3 innings, and the toughest part of the season is to come with the first-place D-backs clinging to a 2 1/2-game lead in the NL West.
"My family grew up as Yankees fans so it was neat to get there and pitching there," Corbin said. "It's something I never thought of growing up as a Yankee fan. It was a pretty neat experience. This has been quite a year so far. Hopefully, we'll just keep it going, have some fun these next few days, and then get back to business."
The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
The 2013 All-Star Game will be played at Citi Field on Tuesday. Come to MLB.com for extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 84th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM also will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.