Corbin talks hoops, game-day routine in Chatting Cage

Corbin talks hoops, game-day routine in Chatting Cage

Corbin talks hoops, game-day routine in Chatting Cage

PHOENIX -- D-backs left-hander Patrick Corbin might lose out to the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw for the National League Cy Young Award, but Corbin does feel pretty confident that there's one place he would prevail -- the basketball court.

That was just one of the many insights gleaned from Corbin's appearance Wednesday in the Edward Jones Chatting Cage.

Corbin was asked if he thought he could beat Kershaw in a game of H-O-R-S-E.

"I don't know how good [Kershaw] is or if he even plays basketball, but I think I can still ball it up a little bit and still go out there and compete with whoever," Corbin said. "It's kind of tough for now during the season to get out there, but I would have to take myself in that battle."

Corbin was an outstanding high school basketball player who could perform a 360-degree dunk. If there were any doubts, there is a YouTube video of him doing just that.

"I was a three-point shooter and a slasher-type guy," Corbin said of his basketball style. "I could always shoot a little bit and jump. Wasn't really the best dribbler or biggest or strongest guy, so I tried to stay away from the hoop a little bit when I could and shoot it. But when I got in there I could jump a little bit and hopefully didn't get big bodied by some big guys down there."

The D-backs are certainly glad he decided to pursue a baseball, rather than basketball, career.

The 24-year-old was acquired by the D-backs just prior to the Trade Deadline in 2010 in the trade that sent veteran right-hander Dan Haren to the Angels.

Corbin made his big league debut in 2012, and after winning the No. 5 spot in the rotation during a Spring Training battle, he quickly became the ace of the Arizona staff, earning a selection to the All-Star Game in New York.

"It's something I never expected," Corbin said of his All-Star status. "I don't think you come into Year 1 thinking about being an All-Star. It's just a great opportunity to get to meet all the guys. Being my second year in the big leagues, that was probably one of the biggest things for me was getting to know some of the other guys on the other team."

While Corbin might be able to take Kershaw in a hoops game, Kershaw is one of the two left-handed pitchers -- along with Corbin's teammate Wade Miley -- whom Corbin said he keeps a close eye on.

"To see how they pitch, and these guys have had some success over the last couple of years," Corbin said. "I just think any time you go out and see these guys compete, that's kind of the pitcher you like to be."

Corbin has a somewhat regular routine that he adheres to on the days he pitches.

"For me, I like to sleep in, get some rest," he said. "I think that's very important. And try to get up and have a good breakfast -- whether it's at the field or on my own. I usually go to 'Matt's Big Breakfast' out here near the field, it's a good spot. That's just kind of it, just kind of get some food in you, head to the field and start preparing, listening to some music or just hanging out in my locker and trying to focus on the game that night."

Corbin might be a creature of habit at times, but he doesn't have the superstitions or strict rituals that are common throughout the game.

"For me, it's kind of different, I kind of just wing it," Corbin said. "Whatever I'm feeling that day. I don't have too many things that I have to do every day, so I wouldn't say that I have one thing that I do certain every day, but I think some guys do. For me, I just try to stay focused. That's probably the biggest thing -- just try to stay focused and focus on what I have to do that night in the game."

Corbin is active on Twitter (@PatrickCorbin11) and views interacting with fans there as well as doing things like the Edward Jones Chatting Cage as an enjoyable part of his role.

"They support us, and if we didn't have fans who knows where we would be, so it's great for them to have an opportunity to interact with us," Corbin said. "And anything to promote the Diamondbacks is what social media should be about and trying to expand this franchise and get more fans involved."

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.