The Struggles of Scott Diamond
To say that Rochester Red Wings pitcher Scott Diamond has had a tough start to the 2014 season, would be putting it mildly.
Diamond, Rochester’s opening day starter, is 0-2 on the season with an International League worst 15.58 ERA. If that large number wasn’t enough, through just nine innings pitched in three starts, Diamond has allowed an IL worst 25 hits and walked seven.
After his last start against the Pawtucket Red Sox, when he pitched four innings, gave up seven runs and 11 hits, catcher Dan Rohlfing said about his performance, “It was a little bit of command issues, got squeezed a little bit but threw some balls over the plate and Scott will be the first one to tell you that he didn’t have his best stuff, but I thought he threw pretty well and went out there and battled.”
Just 21 days ago Scott Diamond was released by the Minnesota Twins. He later accepted his outright assignment to Rochester, but it poses the question, what did the Twins releasing Diamond do to his psyche? Last season Diamond was sent down to the Red Wings, and was a big reason why the team made the postseason push they did. In seven starts he went 4-0 with a 2.93 ERA while walking nine in 41 innings pitched, a huge difference in comparison to what he's done so far this year.
So I think the big questions are, how much longer should Rochester give Diamond to figure things out, and are there guys in New Britain who should be called up to take his spot in the rotation?
To answer the first question, the Red Wings should give him a few more starts to see how he does. Although statistically he's one of the worst pitchers in the International League, since going 4-14 with the Wings in 2011, he's gone 8-1 with a 2.77 ERA in 13 starts coming into this season. Based on those numbers, it would be wise for Rochester to give Diamond some time solely based on the hope that he could again become one of the premier pitchers in the International League.
What about guys like Pat Dean and Sean Gilmartin; should they get the chance to pitch in Rochester with Diamond struggling?
In a word, yes, but not yet. Pat Dean pitched briefly in Rochester last season going 2-0 with a 2.03 ERA in six starts before being sent back to New Britain. While there's no doubt the sample size is small, why not give the 25 year old lefty a chance to show what he has to offer at the next level? Sean Gilmartin is another name to consider calling up as well. Gilmartin, a top five Braves prospect just one year ago, struggled in his first full season in AAA. However he had skipped over the Eastern League, and went from the SAL to the IL, a jump not many pitchers make successfully.
It's only the middle of April, but anytime you have a veteran pitcher struggling to this degree, it's just a matter of time before a change has to be made.