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  • Should Scott Diamond Be Shutdown?

    Scott Diamond Has Already Far Exceeded His Previous Innings Record.One of the best story lines for the Twins in 2012 has been the emergence of Scott Diamond as a stabilizing force in the starting rotation. In a season where the Twins have used 12 different starting pitchers, Diamond leads the way with 24 starts under his belt. During the first half of the season, it looked like Diamond could make the All-Star team because of his performance after being called up by the Twins. It has been a different story for Diamond in the last couple months as his performance has gradually declined to the point where his rotation spot might need to be called into question. A couple of weeks ago, this idea would be out of the question but recent starts from Diamond have showcased a mediocre pitcher with opposing teams hitting the ball all over the field against him.


    So the question to the front office of the Twins is, should Scott Diamond be shut down?

    Let's backtrack a few weeks to see how Diamond got to this point in the year. In the second half of August, Diamond put together a start against the Seattle Mariners that Twins fans had become accustom to seeing from him over the course of the year. He tossed 6.2 innings by surrendering two runs on nine hits and he got the no-decision as the Twins went on to lose the game by a run. His ERA dropped to 2.95 and things continued to look good for the left-handed hurler. The next outing for him would come against the Texas Rangers and this is when it seems like the season switched directions for Diamond.

    After Joe Mauer had been hit with a pitch in a previous inning, Diamond tried to stand-up for the Twins star catcher by throwing at Josh Hamilton of the Rangers. The pitch from Diamond got close to Hamilton but it was near the head of the slugger from Texas. Home plate umpire Wally Bell didn't like the pitch location from Diamond so he tossed him out of the game for throwing near the head of an opposing player. It was the shortest outing of the season for Diamond and it was the first time all year where he failed to pitch more than five innings. The Commissioner's Office would suspend Diamond for six games and things just haven't been the same since this point.

    He has made four starts since the infamous attempted bean ball near the head of Hamilton and it seems like something is missing from Diamond. In three of the four outings, he has been handed the loss and his performances haven't been up to the level fans were use to seeing from him. He has given up four or more runs in each appearance and he hasn't been able to pitch more than six frames in three of the four outings. The only win for Diamond during this stretch was when the offense exploded for 18 runs against the White Sox on September 4th. His last start on Sunday might have been his worst of the year as he gave up six earned runs on seven hits including two long balls. There just doesn't seem to be something right with Mr. Diamond.

    At this point in the season, there are plenty of players dealing with the aches and pains that accompany a grueling 162 game schedule. Diamond is in his first full season with the Twins and he is entering uncharted territory for his professional career. He started the year by throwing 34.2 innings with the Rochester Red Wings before poor play and injuries forced the Twins to turn to the minor leagues. If you combine his minor league innings with his MLB total, he has thrown 188.1 innings in 2012. The career high in innings for Diamond before this season was 162, a mark he reached in 2011 as a member of the Twins and Red Wings. By crossing this innings threshold, Diamond might have run into some fatigue issues and other problems with his arm mechanics.

    The Twins have been eliminated from playoff contention and one could argue that the team was never really in contention this year after their poor start to the season. Diamond's continued presence in the rotation is not entirely necessary over the last couple weeks of the year. He could be quietly shutdown and the team could continue to let other arms get the chance to showcase themselves against some of the tough opponents on the schedule for the rest of the month. It's terrible to think about Diamond suffering an arm injury in a meaningless September game when the club could use him in more meaningful games at the start of next season.

    Diamond hasn't exactly been helping the club to win in recent weeks and it's tough to know what the team wants to do with him for the rest of the year. It doesn't seem like he will be shutdown before his next start and I am sure the team would like to see how many inning he can pitch by the end of the campaign. The competitor inside of Diamond will want to go out on the mound for every opportunity he is given in the next couple weeks. It's just tough to watch him struggle at the end of what has been a breakout season for the 26-year old left-handed pitcher. The fans that are still watching are going to remember the struggles at the end of the year and not the positive signs from the majority of the season. It will also be tough for Diamond to enter the offseason on a sour note.

    In the next couple weeks, Diamond will most likely get to play out the rest of his 2012 season. He could rediscover himself from earlier this year or the performances could continue to go in the opposite direction. The innings are piling up and it's tough not to wonder if Diamond should be on the shelf for the remainder of the campaign.
    This article was originally published in blog: Should Scott Diamond be shutdown? started by Cody Christie
    Comments 16 Comments
    1. wavedog's Avatar
      wavedog -
      I would lean to shutting him down. He has pitched 188 innings which is 16% higher than last year. He is not pitching that well and we don't need him to push him and have that result in an injury. There is no Strasburg impact to having him miss the playoffs so shut him down. The only question I had is do we we have any starters that could take his place? I guess Duensing could move into the starting rotation.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      They didn't call anyone up to take his place, so no.
    1. Winston Smith's Avatar
      Winston Smith -
      Yes only 15 games left. Better safe than sorry!
    1. Forever34's Avatar
      Forever34 -
      Part of me says yes, he is clearly ineffective at this point and the innings count is the most likely cause. You don't want to risk injury for what is expected to be at least our second best starting pitcher either.

      The Bert Byleven in me says: "No, quit being a pussy. This will build up his arm strength and stamina and he'll be a better pitcher for it. Plus dealing with adversity is important for the mental aspect of pitching. Get me another beer."
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Sit him down. I think we need to have another look at Drew Butera's arm. Drew's best shot at making the team next year may be in the rotation anyway.
    1. Thegrin's Avatar
      Thegrin -
      give him one more start, then sit him. Let Duensing get his final starts.
    1. greengoblinrulz's Avatar
      greengoblinrulz -
      Absolutely not....his innings are fine & he's not even @ 20% yet. He needs to build future arm strength for future & also figure out how to fight thru periods of bein hit hard. His velocity is there, showing his arm if fine & that he's just bein hit harder....not the first period this yr where thats happenned. He fought thru the first time.
      Im not really sure if he's a real pitcher for future or just had a good 3 months....wouldn't be the first guy to fool an organization.
      Scot's not 21/22 either....he needs to prove he's a future workhorse capable of 200innings a yr........its only 2 or 3 more starts
    1. DAM DC Twins Fans's Avatar
      DAM DC Twins Fans -
      Yes shut him down--nothing to be gained if he pitches another 15-20 innings. While slight, he could risk long-term injury by pitching with a tired arm.
    1. h2oface's Avatar
      h2oface -
      i heard that scott diamond has changed his name to scott cubic zirconia. if he continues his performance trend that has surfaced in the last 5 outings (the bean ball attempt start counts...... and it didn't start good) he will end up around 11-11 with an era 4.00-4.20! that looks an awful lot like blackburn at his best. not a pleasant image.
    1. Badsmerf's Avatar
      Badsmerf -
      I leaned toward yes at first also, but Bert came to me also and reminded me that this is a big boy game. You learn and get better by gutting through the tough times. What good does shutting him down do? Avoid injury? Are you ****ing kidding me? Instead of letting him try to finish the season strong and going into the offseason with confidence you want to pull the plug at the first sign of adversity? These aren't fragile teenage girls. Get a grip dudes. Even if he gets rocked, who cares? He needs to get better and be able to finish a season. I've had enough of the coddling. This is baseball. Mauer and Morneau have been ripped for not finishing seasons, and this year they actually are. Mauer is a little dinged up, but I bet he still plays.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      I was all for phasing him out of the rotation gently a month ago. Give him a day or two extra between starts, pull him an inning early, that sort of thing.

      Now? I don't think it matters much. He only has three starts left.
    1. IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
      IdahoPilgrim -
      This is all going on the assumption that his inning count is what has caused his recent drop in performance.

      That may be, but let's not rule out that this might be who he really is. He had a great start, and is probably our best bet for a rotation role next year, but let's be honest and admit that his early season performance far exceeded his expected value going into the season.

      I play golf, and I believe firmly that, no matter how well I play on the first 15 holes, the last 3 will almost inevitably bring my score back to what it really should be.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      This rotation is really hurting... They are only 4.5 hearthy starters (Walters is the .5). Shut down Diamond and you have issues...

      Funny thing and shows how bad the Twins' rotation has been this season: The olden days the magic number was 200 IP a season and we were saying that there were few Twins that hit that. Look at the numbers. This season only Diamond will hit more than 150 and only him and Duensing more than 100. If there is one to shut down, that would be Duensing IMNSHO
    1. 70charger's Avatar
      70charger -
      Quote Originally Posted by Forever34 View Post

      The Bert Byleven in me says: "No, quit being a pussy. This will build up his arm strength and stamina and he'll be a better pitcher for it. Plus dealing with adversity is important for the mental aspect of pitching. Get me another beer."
      This part. And get me another beer.
    1. Top Gun's Avatar
      Top Gun -
      I think it should be up to Scott. If he feels great and wants to pitch let him. If he is hurting, tired and having problems, he should take a rest.
    1. old nurse's Avatar
      old nurse -
      Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98 View Post
      This rotation is really hurting... They are only 4.5 hearthy starters (Walters is the .5). Shut down Diamond and you have issues...

      Funny thing and shows how bad the Twins' rotation has been this season: The olden days the magic number was 200 IP a season and we were saying that there were few Twins that hit that. Look at the numbers. This season only Diamond will hit more than 150 and only him and Duensing more than 100. If there is one to shut down, that would be Duensing IMNSHO
      DeVries had 150 innings this year. The Twins starters are so bad they could use the bullpen for a couple innings each as there are 9 bullpen arms plus the staff leader in ERA, who happens to play a vital role as third string catcher, available to do a game if need be.
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