Monday, March 7, 2011

Bullpen candidate profile: Scott Diamond

As a headline writer
given to puns, I hope
Scott Diamond shines.
Pitcher: Scott Diamond
Throws: Left
Age: 24
Roster status: Rule V draftee
Chance of making team: Fair to poor

I wrote this about Scott Diamond shortly after the Twins plucked him off the Atlanta Braves' roster, and it still holds.

He's still a soft-tossing lefty with a good curve, a history of durability and a knack for keeping the ball in the park. He could fit as a second LOOGY, he could fit as a long man.

And he's still a Rule V draftee, which means he's use or lose. The Braves chose to leave him off their 40-man roster, and the Twins drafted him onto their 40. If the spends the full 2011 season on the Twins 25-man roster, he's theirs. If he doesn't:

  • The Twins put him on waivers, with any claiming club bound by the same Rule V restrictions.
  • If he makes it though waivers, Atlanta can take him back. And as I noted in December, it sounded then as if the Braves want him back.

So far this spring, Diamond has been unscored upon in four innings highlighted by a pickoff, but his two-inning outing on Sunday was a bit ragged.  He, Perkins and Hughes have all put up goose eggs in the early exhibitions.

It's possible for two of the three to make the roster, but barring a trade or injury, I don't see it. Pat Neshek is looking very good, and Jim Hoey's fastball is at least 10-mph faster than Diamond's.

As of Sunday, my guess on the bullpen composition:

Closer: Joe Nathan
Setup 1: Matt Capps
Lefty 1: Jose Mijares
Setup2/MR 1: Pat Neshek
MR 2: Jim Hoey
Lefty 2: Perkins, Diamond or Hughes (in that order)
Long man: Kevin Slowey

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