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Thread: Article: How Scott Diamond Continues to Shine

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    Owner Big-Leaguer Parker Hageman's Avatar
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    Article: Why Minnesota Twins' Scott Diamond Continues to Shine

    @OverTheBaggy

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    Senior Member All-Star Ultima Ratio's Avatar
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    I really think he has the makeup and will have the success that Mark Buerhle had in his prime. I really can't see him posting an ERA over 4 for a season.

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    About the only 3rd starter type the Twins have any luck with as of late. I like how he cuts his fastball forcing righties to respect that part of the zone which also reminds me of Buerhle. I think that as much as anything is his key to pitching so well.

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    Please ban me! All-Star stringer bell's Avatar
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    As usual, very fine technical analysis from Parker. My only quibble is comment about run support. While I don't doubt the number, I do know Diamond was on the hill for both of the Twins biggest explosions this year--19 runs vs. the Orioles and 14 in Cleveland. Take out those blowouts and Diamond's support isn't quite as impressive. I'm sure most quality starters, Diamond included, would settle for five runs every start rather than getting 14 and 19 and then getting two or less a number of times. I checked the records and in the six games that Diamond started and the Twins lost, the team scored 0, 1, 2, 3, 3, and 2, that is 11 runs in six games.

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    Owner MVP Seth Stohs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stringer bell View Post
    As usual, very fine technical analysis from Parker. My only quibble is comment about run support. While I don't doubt the number, I do know Diamond was on the hill for both of the Twins biggest explosions this year--19 runs vs. the Orioles and 14 in Cleveland. Take out those blowouts and Diamond's support isn't quite as impressive. I'm sure most quality starters, Diamond included, would settle for five runs every start rather than getting 14 and 19 and then getting two or less a number of times. I checked the records and in the six games that Diamond started and the Twins lost, the team scored 0, 1, 2, 3, 3, and 2, that is 11 runs in six games.
    Great point! Those two games definitely affect that 'run support' average.

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    Owner Big-Leaguer Parker Hageman's Avatar
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    I do know Diamond was on the hill for both of the Twins biggest explosions this year--19 runs vs. the Orioles and 14 in Cleveland. Take out those blowouts and Diamond's support isn't quite as impressive.
    That definitely puffed up his RS/9 number a bit but the team still scored five or more runs for him (including 11 runs three other times) in another six starts. It would still be an above average rate even if those two outings were removed.

    And, again, there's an element of "luck" at play there considering, in the 19-run outburst, he allowed 5 runs.

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    Speediest Moderator All-Star snepp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultima Ratio View Post
    I really can't see him posting an ERA over 4 for a season.
    Blinded by his half season ERA?
    "Maybe you could go grab a bat and ball… and learn something. Maybe you will get it."
    - Strib commenter educating the elitists on the value of RBI's

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    Pixel Monkey MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snepp View Post
    Blinded by his half season ERA?
    Diamond is looking more and more like a quality #3 pitcher. A guy who strings together above average seasons mixed with more pedestrian 4.00 ERA seasons... Not unlike a Brad Radke type. Given the shift in baseball over the past decade, a 4 ERA is pretty average. Just looking at Diamond and his peripherals suggests that he's going to slide back to a slightly above average to average pitcher.

    In any case, I'll take it. The Twins badly needed a guy to step up in the rotation and Scott looks to be that guy for a few years.

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    if it's sustainable, I'll take it... Keep in mind that while his velo is nothing special (low 90s from what I understand) that is coming from a lefty, not a right hander. That does make a bit of a difference as well.

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    Senior Member Double-A Cap'n Piranha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parker Hageman View Post
    That definitely puffed up his RS/9 number a bit but the team still scored five or more runs for him (including 11 runs three other times) in another six starts. It would still be an above average rate even if those two outings were removed.

    And, again, there's an element of "luck" at play there considering, in the 19-run outburst, he allowed 5 runs.
    It would be an above-average rate, but only by half a run. The Twins are averaging 4.5 runs a game, and with the 19 and 14 run games removed, the Twins have scored 75 runs in Diamond's 15 starts, for a tidy 5.0 runs/game. Using a stat that I created, which I call Expected Win-Loss (or xWL for short), Diamond SHOULD have a record of 12-5, which is pretty decent (if this stat already exists elsewhere, I abdicate the credit for it, I just haven't seen it anywhere). The stat is calculated by calculating how many earned runs the bullpen would be expected to surrender in however much of that particular game the starter leaves to the bullpen, then adding that to the earned runs the starter gave up. If the resulting number is less than the average runs scored by the offense, the starter is credited with an "expected win", indicating that he pitched well enough to win your average game. If that number is more, the pitcher is given an "expected loss", meaning the starter did not do enough to put the team in position to win the average game. The calculation is below.

    Expected Runs Allowed=(((9-X)/9)*Y+Z)

    X=Starter's IP in that game
    Y=Bullpen ERA
    Z=Starter's Earned Runs in that game

    Below are the xWL for all Twins starting pitchers this year

    Blackburn: 5-12
    Deduno: 3-3
    DeVries: 6-4
    Diamond: 12-5
    Duensing: 3-5
    Hendriks: 3-5
    Liriano: 8-9
    Marquis: 2-5
    Pavano: 4-7
    Swarzak: 1-3
    Walters: 4-3

    Thus, the only Twins pitchers that have consistently given the team a chance to win are Diamond, DeVries, Walters, and Deduno. Every other starter was more likely to not keep the team in the game.

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    Tell me why we aren't seeing another Brian Duensing situation here? Looked really good his first run through the league. Once everybody saw him, he regressed. Duensing is a good arm for the pen and some spot starts,but I wouldn't want to count on him in the rotation for an exgtended period. I have a feeling this is closer to the real Diamond.

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    Owner Big-Leaguer Parker Hageman's Avatar
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    @Cap'n --

    Good research (and yes, there is an Expected Wins stat already). I wasn't trying to contest that he would have lost any of those starts he had this year -- after all, he's allowed over 4 runs in just one of his starts. The idea is that if his ERA does go up to 4-ish (which, based on the xFIP and his very high DP rate of 22%, it will likely creep northward) and his run support drops to close to the league's average of 4.4, then the record next year will probably not be as impressive as it is this year.

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    Senior Member All-Star Thrylos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cap'n Piranha View Post
    It would be an above-average rate, but only by half a run. The Twins are averaging 4.5 runs a game, and with the 19 and 14 run games removed, the Twins have scored 75 runs in Diamond's 15 starts, for a tidy 5.0 runs/game. Using a stat that I created, which I call Expected Win-Loss (or xWL for short), Diamond SHOULD have a record of 12-5, which is pretty decent (if this stat already exists elsewhere, I abdicate the credit for it, I just haven't seen it anywhere). The stat is calculated by calculating how many earned runs the bullpen would be expected to surrender in however much of that particular game the starter leaves to the bullpen, then adding that to the earned runs the starter gave up. If the resulting number is less than the average runs scored by the offense, the starter is credited with an "expected win", indicating that he pitched well enough to win your average game. If that number is more, the pitcher is given an "expected loss", meaning the starter did not do enough to put the team in position to win the average game. The calculation is below.

    Expected Runs Allowed=(((9-X)/9)*Y+Z)

    X=Starter's IP in that game
    Y=Bullpen ERA
    Z=Starter's Earned Runs in that game

    Below are the xWL for all Twins starting pitchers this year

    Blackburn: 5-12
    Deduno: 3-3
    DeVries: 6-4
    Diamond: 12-5
    Duensing: 3-5
    Hendriks: 3-5
    Liriano: 8-9
    Marquis: 2-5
    Pavano: 4-7
    Swarzak: 1-3
    Walters: 4-3

    Thus, the only Twins pitchers that have consistently given the team a chance to win are Diamond, DeVries, Walters, and Deduno. Every other starter was more likely to not keep the team in the game.
    I suspect that Liriano's record is within the standard deviation of being equal to Deduno's (and probably the same goes for Duensing and Hendriks)

    And runs allowed do not tell the story really. That dropped ball by Nishioka the other day was called a double and went on the pitcher's record. Nuts.



    As far as Diamond goes, one of the major changes this season from last is his drastic decrease in BB/9. I think he leads the league or is close to it in that stat. His K/9 is just 4.9, which is even below Brad Radke's career average mark. If he gets his K/9 up to 6-7 (where De Vries' is, btw) it would be great. At least he is one of the hopeful signs of the 2012 season.
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    Pixel Monkey MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fire Dan Gladden View Post
    Tell me why we aren't seeing another Brian Duensing situation here? Looked really good his first run through the league. Once everybody saw him, he regressed. Duensing is a good arm for the pen and some spot starts,but I wouldn't want to count on him in the rotation for an exgtended period. I have a feeling this is closer to the real Diamond.
    Duensing never had success against righties, even when he was pitching well. He struggled to get his OPS against righties under .750 even in his good seasons. You can't succeed as a starter if you can't get right-handed batters out. That's the difference.

    Diamond, on the other hand, is getting shelled against lefties, which is incredibly odd and not likely to hold as the sample size grows.

  15. #15
    Speediest Moderator All-Star snepp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    Diamond is looking more and more like a quality #3 pitcher. A guy who strings together above average seasons mixed with more pedestrian 4.00 ERA seasons... Not unlike a Brad Radke type. Given the shift in baseball over the past decade, a 4 ERA is pretty average. Just looking at Diamond and his peripherals suggests that he's going to slide back to a slightly above average to average pitcher.

    In any case, I'll take it. The Twins badly needed a guy to step up in the rotation and Scott looks to be that guy for a few years.
    I can't find much to disagree with here, I just found the "no ERA above 4" comment to be ridiculous.
    "Maybe you could go grab a bat and ball… and learn something. Maybe you will get it."
    - Strib commenter educating the elitists on the value of RBI's

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    Senior Member Triple-A
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    I thought this was interesting, when I looked up the Swinging Strike rankings on Fangraphs:

    Jason Vargas- 7.2%
    Mark Buehrle- 7.2%
    Wandy Rodriguez- 7.1%
    Scott Diamond- 7.0%
    Randy Wolf- 7.0%
    Joe Saunders- 6.9%
    Paul Maholm- 6.8%
    Clayton Richard- 6.8%

    I omitted a couple righties in there but this group of finesse left-handers stands out towards the bottom of the rankings, since generally they have done pretty well. The downside with these guys is that the margin for error is low and they are very dependent on their defense (and ballpark). Missing of course are the countless finesse lefties that haven't been able to sustain success or achieve any in the first place. Diamond has been a very pleasant surprise but it's hard to say exactly what he is at this point.

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    Pixel Monkey MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snepp View Post
    I can't find much to disagree with here, I just found the "no ERA above 4" comment to be ridiculous.
    I expect him to hover right around that mark most seasons so yeah, predicting that he'll never top it is a little premature.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post
    Duensing never had success against righties, even when he was pitching well. He struggled to get his OPS against righties under .750 even in his good seasons. You can't succeed as a starter if you can't get right-handed batters out. That's the difference.
    Which is -worthy when TR, Gardy, Andy and Nick Nelson continue to insist that the Dunce is starting material.

    Why do they continue with this proven and obviously pre-destined to fail strategy in a losing season, when you have nothing to lose seeing what Vasquez and any one of the "4H'ers" readily available (Hendriks, Hernandez, Hermsen, Hirschfield) have to offer?

  19. #19
    Speediest Moderator All-Star snepp's Avatar
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    Where has Nick insisted that Duensing is starting material?
    "Maybe you could go grab a bat and ball… and learn something. Maybe you will get it."
    - Strib commenter educating the elitists on the value of RBI's

  20. #20
    Pixel Monkey MVP Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
    Which is -worthy when TR, Gardy, Andy and Nick Nelson continue to insist that the Dunce is starting material.
    Nick was all for removing Duensing from the rotation in 2011 because of his splits. I know this for a fact because several massive threads were dedicated to it over on BYTO.

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