Twins' Rotation is Begging For Change
by, 06-20-2013 at 09:52 PM (758 Views)
Scott 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 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?"