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Thread: Diamond's Struggles: What to Expect Going Forward

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    Diamond's Struggles: What to Expect Going Forward

    Scott Diamond has struggled mightily this season, with an ERA of 5.40 after last yearís stellar 3.54 ERA. Some of this regression was expected; not only did Diamond greatly exceed expectation but he also posted a 3.94 FIP in 2012. The real question is the cause of Diamondís struggles this season: if he has truly taken a step back, expect his struggles to continue, and he may lose his spot in the rotation. However, if Diamondís poor performance has been more a result of bad luck, there is a good chance he could rebound in the second half.

    The Bad:
    Diamond is walking more batters, striking out fewer, generating fewer groundballs, and giving up more fly balls than a year ago. This displays that Diamond truly has struggled this season.
    2012:12.6%K 4.3%BB 2.90K/BB 53.4%GB 25.6%FB 2.09GB/FB
    2013:11.0K 4.9%BB 2.25K/BB 47.8%GB 34.2%FB 1.40GB/FB

    What has caused this:
    First there has been a difference in pitch selection. Diamond is throwing his fastball more and his curveball less than a year ago, which probably not a good sign for a soft-tosser. To make matters worse, he has lost some velocity on his fastball from a year ago. This could be a long-term problem for Diamond.
    2012: 60% fastballs (89.4 mph) 29% curveballs
    2013: 65% fastballs (88.2 mph) 23% curveballs

    The Good:
    Diamond is allowing fewer line drives this year, which typically leads to a lower BABIP, because players seem to hit around.700 on line drives (Iíve read varying statistics from several sources, but this seems to be the general consensus). In fact, only 12 pitchers in all of baseball are giving up fewer line drives this season.
    2012: 21.0% LD
    2013: 18.0% LD
    Despite giving up fewer line drives than last year, Diamondís BABIP has gone through the roof. In fact, Diamond has allowed the 6th highest BABIP in MLB.
    2012: .292
    2013: .337
    Another cause of Diamondís struggles has been his inability to strand runners on base. Not only has his left on base percentage dropped significantly from last season, but his LOB% this season is the 9th lowest in all of baseball.
    2012: 73.3% LOB
    2013: 65.7% LOB

    What to expect going forward:
    Diamond has clearly regressed this year. The bottom line is that the things he can controlóstrikeouts, walks, groundballs, flyballsóhe isnít doing as well as he did last year (with the exception of line drives). It is very possible that this is a result of the changes in Diamondís repertoire, both pitch selection and pure stuff. This is a legitimate long term worry that could plague him going forward.
    However, the severity of Diamondís regression should not as extreme as it has been. This is largely the result of bad luck. As the season progresses, these trends should regress towards the league average and Diamondís numbers should improve. However, it is unlikely that Diamond will return to his 2012 numbers unless he makes some changes to his pitch selection and adds some velocity to his fastball.

  2. #2
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    I think Diamond is a little like Alan Anderson. He had success when the league didn't know him. Won 17 games and the ERA title one year. Once the league figured him out, he didn't have the stuff to make the adjustments. Diamond doesn't have any plus pitches. He relies on keeping them guessing. In the age of video and detailed scouting reports, it's just a lot harder to keep them guessing.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

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    Diamond is too worried about throwing strikes--too many pitches elevated and in the heart of the plate. Diamond has be on the corners--and just off of the corners--in order to succeed. What I saw in the 5th inning last night was just one fat pitch after another with an occasional "big miss" of the strikezone, the type that doesn't draw anything resembling a swing. I fear his future is as a one-inning guy.

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    Senior Member All-Star Badsmerf's Avatar
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    Diamond walked a tight rope last year and did it very well. He doesn't have much wiggle room to succeed in this league, and this is showing up big time in 2013. I really hoped coming into this season he could continue on what made him successful, unfortunately it doesn't look like he can. I really hope brief success doesn't get in the way of the Twins better judgment on him.... although I'm sure he will get too many chances.
    Do or do not. There is no try.

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    Twins Moderator All-Star diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
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    If he walks the tight rope well, he's Mark Burhle. Otherwise, he's not quite as bad as Nick Blackburn. He has the advantage of being a lefty, which I think does help a bit, but what you are seeing is some regression. He isn't likely as bad as he is this season, but not as good as he was last.

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    Senior Member All-Star Badsmerf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by diehardtwinsfan View Post
    If he walks the tight rope well, he's Mark Burhle. Otherwise, he's not quite as bad as Nick Blackburn. He has the advantage of being a lefty, which I think does help a bit, but what you are seeing is some regression. He isn't likely as bad as he is this season, but not as good as he was last.
    So who is the real slim shady? I'm not convinced he is going to be good enough going forward to be counted on to be a member of the rotation. At this point he isn't blocking anyone (Gibson is finally up), so it isn't that big of a deal. However, when May and Meyer are knocking on the door I hope he isn't standing in the way.
    Do or do not. There is no try.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Badsmerf View Post
    So who is the real slim shady? I'm not convinced he is going to be good enough going forward to be counted on to be a member of the rotation. At this point he isn't blocking anyone (Gibson is finally up), so it isn't that big of a deal. However, when May and Meyer are knocking on the door I hope he isn't standing in the way.
    Do you think the Twins would go to an all righty rotation? My guess is Diamond will be blocking Hernandez, Logan Darnell and Andrew Albers and that Meyer and Mays would replace a righty from the rotation.

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    Twins Contributor Big-Leaguer Cody Christie's Avatar
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    I think Diamond might be the odd-man out in the rotation. Gibson is up until he reaches his innings limit.

    Maybe a little time in Rochester will help Mr. Diamond.

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    Diamond's "problem" has already been pointed out previously this week. I don't remember who wrote the article but it was on this site recently. The gist of the problem being that last year the league hit around .230 off Diamonds curve and now are hitting around .320 off that pitch. You really need to be able to use that secondary pitch effectively to get through lineups the 2nd 3rd and maybe 4th times. Same as EVERY Twins starter not named Deduno, Diamond has no legit second offering. I personally hope I never see Worley back in the bigs with the Twins for that very reason. I'm always reminded of Blackburn.

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    Last year was an illusion, Diamond just doesn have good enough stuff to be a mid 3s ERA guy. Of course he shouldnt be this bad but I see him as a low 4s to mid 4s guy. Its funny because other than Gibson now the Twins have no SPs that have potential to be more than a 4 maybe a so so 3.

  11. #11
    Senior Member All-Star Willihammer's Avatar
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    He's not getting quite the same extension this year, short arming a little. Elbow bothering him still would be my guess.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badsmerf View Post
    So who is the real slim shady? I'm not convinced he is going to be good enough going forward to be counted on to be a member of the rotation. At this point he isn't blocking anyone (Gibson is finally up), so it isn't that big of a deal. However, when May and Meyer are knocking on the door I hope he isn't standing in the way.
    Dont you mean IF Meyer and May come knocking?

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    Sophmore jinx? Bad pitch calling? More then likely his elbow is bothering him , as many believe bone chips are the precurser to TJ surgery.My solution for Scotty is the same as it is for Worely,shut them down for the season, have them play winter ball after christmas, if there is any elbow problems get them cut on and hope we can use them in 2015 either as starters or as trade bait for players who can help us
    Last edited by johnnydakota; 06-30-2013 at 11:28 PM. Reason: me bad speeler

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