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  • Twins' Rotation is Begging For Change

    Scott Diamond has struggled for the TwinsScott Diamond picked up a win in Thursday’s sweep-clinching victory over the White Sox, but his outing could hardly be described as a strong one. Facing arguably the league’s worst lineup, the lefty made it through five innings with only one run allowed but fell apart in the sixth, coughing up a single and back-to-back homers before getting yanked with one out.

    It marks the seventh time in his last eight outings that Diamond has failed to complete six innings. During that span, which dates back to May 7, he has a 6.86 ERA and an ugly 16-to-13 K/BB ratio in 42 innings.

    Diamond has never been anyone’s idea of a strikeout pitcher, but lately nothing has been working for him. His 48.2 percent grounder rate on the season is down significantly from last year’s elite 53.4 percent clip. His command has been noticeably less sharp. Parker noted on Twitter that opposing hitters are teeing off on Diamond’s curveball to the tune of .314/.310/.571, after last year hitting .239/.247/.368 against the heavily featured offering.

    He was far and away the best starter on Minnesota's staff in 2012, but right now Diamond isn't doing the things he needs to do to be successful, and that has been the case for weeks. The 26-year-old southpaw clearly isn't right. He's not locating like he was last year, and his pitches aren't moving like they were.

    Understandably, thoughts turn to his offseason surgery. In December, Diamond had bone chips removed from his left elbow after fading down the stretch. The operation was similar in nature to that of Vance Worley, who had "a loose body and bone spur" removed from his pitching elbow at the end of the season after also,fading down the stretch.

    This year, Worley looked like a mere shadow of his former self for two months before being bumped to Rochester. The same has more or less been true of Diamond, who excelled in his first handful of starts but is approaching six weeks of ineffectiveness.

    A Twins team that has actively preached a "no scholarships" mantra now has Diamond -- with one quality start in his last eight tries -- and Mike Pelfrey -- with the worst ERA in the majors -- comprising two fifths of its rotation.

    Meanwhile, Kyle Gibson logged another brilliant outing in Rochester Thursday, allowing just one unearned run in seven innings.

    To quote Terry Ryan… "Are we trying to win, or what are we doing?"
    This article was originally published in blog: Twins' Rotation is Begging For Change started by Nick Nelson
    Comments 71 Comments
    1. YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
      YourHouseIsMyHouse -
      Twins
      +Gibson
      -Diamond
      ______
      =
    1. Kwak's Avatar
      Kwak -
      Quote Originally Posted by YourHouseIsMyHouse View Post
      Twins
      +Gibson
      -Diamond
      ______
      =
      Weren't you one of many posting preseason that Diamond was a "lock", a "given",
      and basically "the rock of the rotation for 2013"?--and beyond?
      I'm curious how many of the frequent posters on TD will be casting stones Diamond's way?

      This is borderline trolling. Please be careful about "casting stones." Your friendly neighborhood moderator.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      This. It is well past time to make this move. Perhaps they want a lefty in the rotation. Fine, make it Albers. But find a way to get Gibson up here before he hits his innings limit, please.
    1. stringer bell's Avatar
      stringer bell -
      I like Diamond and I thought he would regress a bit, but still be the Twins' best starter this year. He just hasn't been close to the pitcher he was last year. Far too many crooked numbers.
    1. YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
      YourHouseIsMyHouse -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kwak View Post
      Weren't you one of many posting preseason that Diamond was a "lock", a "given",
      and basically "the rock of the rotation for 2013"?--and beyond?
      I'm curious how many of the frequent posters on TD will be casting stones Diamond's way?
      I said he could surely be a back end starter, probably the best on this rotation (not saying much) because that didn't seem out of reach. Since a player had success one year, I'm not allowed to be optimistic about him? Am I bounded to support him while he's clearly not cutting it? He's obviously a different player now and adjustments need to be made. Forgive me for being wrong about a player being successful. Everything in baseball is truly predictable.
    1. twinsnorth49's Avatar
      twinsnorth49 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kwak View Post
      Weren't you one of many posting preseason that Diamond was a "lock", a "given",
      and basically "the rock of the rotation for 2013"?--and beyond?
      I'm curious how many of the frequent posters on TD will be casting stones Diamond's way?
      Do you have a point or are you just casting stones?
    1. Brad Swanson's Avatar
      Brad Swanson -
      I was a huge Diamond supporter prior to the season. I even wrote about it a few times. However, 2013 Scott Diamond doesn't look like 2012 first-half Scott Diamond to me. I hope it's injury-related and he can get back to that place, but he doesn't really deserve to be in the rotation right now.

      His walk rate is up, his strikeout rate is down and his ground ball rate is down. His margin for error was extremely low when he was going well. His strand rate is low and his BABIP is high, so some of his struggles are reversible. However, with Albers and Gibson pitching well in AAA and Deduno and Walters getting their shots after doing the same, he should probably be replaced at this point.
    1. troyhobbs's Avatar
      troyhobbs -
      It's been published before that Diamond had a good bit of luck last year and his stuff isn't nasty by any means, especially if he isn't hitting his spots. I'm not saying he's the one who should get demoted/moved but what is there to lose by calling up Gibson, a kid with high upside that posesses swing and miss stuff? I don't understand the argument of being patient with a first round draft pick that is major league ready on one of the worst rotations in baseball.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Meanwhile, Kyle Gibson logged another brilliant outing in Rochester Thursday, allowing just one unearned run in seven innings.
      Brilliant? Maybe.

      Ahh... but Consistent? 7 of his last 8 starts ranging from: "very good" to "lights out" clearly doesn't meet that particular standard so publicly set by Twins management as "the reason" for keeping Gibson down.

      Gibson will now be around 100 IP in AAA after his next start, and within 4 months of his 26th birthday. The only thing that makes anything close to sense at this point is that the Twins are looking to maximize current SP potential values by showcasing them through the deadline, in anticipation of a trade.

      With now only around 5-6 major league starts left available to Gibson, the FO may as well start thinking about what new excuses they'll be using to keep him down in Rochester in 2014 in order to keep the arb clock from ticking.
    1. AScheib50's Avatar
      AScheib50 -
      I think more people need to read Seth's summary of Gibson's start. Now, I know not everyone here is as optimistic as Seth, but I think we can all agree with what he said about Gibson being in a better place than he was 6-7 starts ago. I would love for him to be up too, but he is getting better in AAA and I just hope we can all stop beating the dead horse that is the consistency line. Yeah, the Twins said it, but can be let it go away? He'll be up soon.

      I dunno, I'm not a cynical person so I just don't see Terry Ryan sitting in his office thinking of ways to screw Gibson out of service time. His not being up yet isn't really a sky is falling kind of dilemma. It'll work itself out.
    1. fairweather's Avatar
      fairweather -
      .314/.310/.571 is VERY disconcerting!
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Diamond and Pelfrey both have problems and need to be DLed. Gibson and Albers can come up.
    1. johnnydakota's Avatar
      johnnydakota -
      Isint this the year we figure out who are the guys who will help us in the future?
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by AScheib50 View Post
      I think more people need to read Seth's summary of Gibson's start. Now, I know not everyone here is as optimistic as Seth, but I think we can all agree with what he said about Gibson being in a better place than he was 6-7 starts ago. I would love for him to be up too, but he is getting better in AAA and I just hope we can all stop beating the dead horse that is the consistency line. Yeah, the Twins said it, but can be let it go away? He'll be up soon.

      I dunno, I'm not a cynical person so I just don't see Terry Ryan sitting in his office thinking of ways to screw Gibson out of service time. His not being up yet isn't really a sky is falling kind of dilemma. It'll work itself out.
      You might be searching for agreement on the statement in bold, but the facts don't hold up. He pitched a brilliant complete game shutout 9 starts ago- in early May. And then he followed that up with a near no-hitter, complete game shutout, 7 starts ago and then an 8 inning shutout 6 starts ago. He's had AAA figured out since early May, these are the facts.

      Ryan has his reasons, no doubt, but none of them with respect to Gibson appear to be associated with making the big league club, or Gibson's career arc, better, in 2013.

      As johnnydakota stated so well, isn't this the year to figure out who has the chops to help the club return to competitiveness as soon as possible? It's hard for a player to improve when he is forced to continue to compete at a level he's clearly mastered. Frequently, it's just human nature to see that staleness, lack of focus and bad habits can set in. (See Sano in 2012 and 2013, Buxton in 2013-- challenging guys who clearly are cuts above their current level can only serve to bring out the raw talent at a faster pace).
    1. IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
      IdahoPilgrim -
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      You might be searching for agreement on the statement in bold, but the facts don't hold up.
      He'll get it from me. When we started having this discussion about Gibson at the start of May he clearly wasn't ready - good start alternating with bad start. The Twins were right to keep him in Rochester.

      Now he's ready, and so is Albers. I'd welcome them both in the rotation in place of Diamond and Pelfrey.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      We don't know that he would not have figured it out here, whatever that means.....he's ready, and Plefrey and Diamond are bad at their job, but that does not yet appear to matter to Terry Ryan. He should be up now.
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      The Twins are going to send Diamond down for a month... not because he's been brutal, but because it would mean an extra year of team control. Send him down for six and he'll avoid super-2 status after next season too. Win, win, win.
    1. Winston Smith's Avatar
      Winston Smith -
      Well Diamond is being consistent and that's all that counts.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Scott Diamond, super 2? Those two phrases do not go together.......
    1. JB_Iowa's Avatar
      JB_Iowa -
      Maybe they don't want to bring up Gibson until they finally have a new pitching coach at the major league level. (One can only hope).
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