Saturday, March 29, 2014

Cutting Diamond

Scott Diamond added
a beard this spring.
It didn't help his pitching.
Scott Diamond didn't make the Twins rotation. Since the lefty is out of options, the Twins put him on waivers, and 29 teams passed.

They said, in effect, that he can't make their rotations either.

Diamond has until midday today to decline to report to Triple A Rochester and declare free agency, but my guess is that he's not going to find a major league job elsewhere.

But I'm also not sure how he fits into the Twins future either. It's a similar situation as with Vance Worley when the Twins pulled the plug on him The Rochester rotation has five guys, maybe six, without him, and there's a case to be made that all should rate ahead of Diamond.

I'm an unabashed Diamond fan, for a variety of reasons, not least of which is that I grew up in an era when several ground-ball lefties thrived without velocity. Tommy John. Scott McGregor. Geoff Zahn of the Twins.

But the game has changed. In the second decade of the 21st Century, pitchers have to be able to miss bats. The lineups are deeper, the hitters more powerful than 40 to 30 years ago. And Diamond has trouble generating swings-and-misses, not to mention strikeouts.

For Diamond to be effective, he has to be top-of-the-charts in ground ball rate and control. Not merely better than average, but best or nearly best in the league. He was in 2012; he wasn't in 2013.

And this spring, Diamond walked 10 men in 17 innings. That won't do.

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