In an interesting move, the Minnesota Twins placed Scott Diamond on waivers Wednesday, giving the other teams in the league until Thursday to make a move to claim him.
The move is interesting for several different reasons, seeing that it was not that long ago that Diamond appeared to emerge as a pitcher who could become part of the permanent rotation going forward. Diamond was the Twins top pitcher in 2012 (insert joke here), going 12-9 with an 3.54 ERA.
He certainly wasn’t a flame thrower by any means, which his 90 strikeouts in 173 innings would indicate, but it seemed that he could certainly anchor the team at the #4 or #5 spot in the rotation.
However, the hopelessness of 2013 left few players unscathed and was particularly rough for Diamond as he ended the season 6-13 with a 5.43 ERA.
Left with the dueling performances of his 2012 and 2013 seasons, we were left to wonder which Scott Diamond would show up in 2014. The decision made by the Twins to attempt to pass Diamond through waivers seems to indicate their thoughts on the matter. Especially seeing that Kyle Gibson still has an option left, and they could easily have sent Gibson to Rochester to start the season to give Diamond a shot to prove himself.
It is hard to glean much substance from Spring Training, but Diamond giving up 20 hits, 10 walks and carrying a 5.29 ERA through 17 innings probably didn’t help his cause.
It could also be that Gibson’s strong performance in Spring Training has raised his stock within the organization, but likely it is a combination of Gibson looking like he may be ready for his shot, and Diamond regressing back to the mean from which he arose.
After all, baseball is a weird game where weird things can happen. Please see Andrew Albers throwing 17+ scoreless innings to start his short-lived major league career. Diamond could have been a flash in the pan in 2012, who got knocked around in 2013 after the rest of the league got the book on him. It could have been an off year, or his injuries could have provided problems. It could have been a little bit of all of this at the same time, but time will tell.
Getting rid of Vance Worley made sense, but it will be interesting to see if any other teams in the league want to take a chance on Diamond, as he is only 26 and has previously shown some potential. Regardless of how this turns out, it won’t likely be something we remember several years from now, but it has been one of the more interesting moves of what has been a fairly uneventful offseason, as we again head towards a season that may be difficult to endure.