Twins' Diamond settles in for the season

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 12, 2013 - 12:19 AM

The 12-game winner in 2012 is scheduled to make his 2013 Twins debut this weekend.

Of course the Twins always believed Scott Diamond would eventually develop into an effective starter, perhaps even an ace. They had already watched the prototype — back in the 1991 World Series.

“We all said right away when we saw him, he looked like a Tom Glavine,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said, referring to the 305-game winner. “He has the same type of windup, that same kind of feel for his pitches, and he’s just gotten better and better. You could [picture] him in a Braves uniform.”

You could, because he was Atlanta property until the Twins selected him in the Rule 5 draft in 2010. But good breeding by the major leagues’ top pitching farm wasn’t enough to make Diamond — who returns to the Twins rotation for his 2013 debut this weekend — a solid, reliable big-leaguer. No, that didn’t happen until ... well, he wishes he knew.

He would like to point to an adjustment he made in his mechanics, or an instant when Pitching Mound Enlightenment arrived. He wants to be able to explain exactly when he figured out how to pitch.

“I don’t think there really was an aha moment, though,” Diamond said. “Mechanically, it all came together gradually. I always had a problem rushing the pitch, trying to throw as quick as I could. I learned to stay back more so I can get better extension, which helps the ball go down. And mentally, I just learned to believe in myself. I tried to look forward, not relive the past.”

That’s good, because after 2011, Diamond’s first year with the Twins, it was hard to picture much Glavine-like success for him anymore. He went 4-14 at Class AAA Rochester, led the league in losses and posted a 5.56 ERA. He was going through a particularly bad stretch, losing six consecutive games with an 8.13 ERA, when he was called to Minneapolis as an emergency fill-in. And after finishing 1-5 in the big leagues, the Twins could be excused for believing Diamond was simply a failed experiment.

General Manager Terry Ryan figured that wasn’t the real Diamond, though. “When you change organizations, it seems like it takes you a while to feel a part of it. It took him bit to feel like he was a part of the Twins,” Ryan said. “It’s a transition — different coaching, different cities, different philosophies, all that stuff. It’s not just switching uniforms.”

Besides, he and his manager agreed, few pitchers worked as hard on their craft as the young Canadian.

“He prepares very well for the opposing team,” Gardenhire said. “He understands what pitching is all about. He recognizes when a hitter is going to be real aggressive on him, and makes adjustments. ... It’s a matter of him getting the ball where he wants to. That’s from studying, watching a lot of film, and knowing what he can and can’t do.”

Diamond was cut early in camp last year, but when he returned to the Twins — after a 4-1 start in Rochester — he was a different pitcher. He might not know when it happened, but Diamond definitely believes he changed in 2012.

“I had a different mental approach. Basically, it’s just a matter of knowing that you have the pitches, that your stuff is good enough to get hitters out,” said Diamond, who went 12-9 in Minnesota over five months, with a 3.54 ERA. “I tried to attack every hitter, and once I had some success, I could feel myself building confidence.”

He couldn’t wait to test that confidence again this year, but had to live with a delay after the sudden presence of bone chips in his elbow required surgery in December. But he completed his own spring training on Wednesday, and “the ball was coming out with really good life. I’m throwing really well. It’s exciting,” he said.

The Twins feel the excitement, too. They believe he has the potential to keep improving, and to emerge as a true ace.

Eventually.

“You’ve got to remember, he’s still a very young pitcher,” Gardenhire said of the 26-year-old lefthander. “But he stepped up and did a real nice job for us. He led by example last year. And he’s got all the confidence in the world now.”

  • related content

  • Headed to the Twins-Mets series opener Friday? Bundle up

    Friday April 12, 2013

    The club will make every effort to play the game, since the three-game series is the only visit by the Mets to Target Field this season.

  • Twins-Mets series preview

    Friday April 12, 2013

    twins vs. new york mets series previewTHREE-GAME SERIES AT TARGET FIELDFriday, 7:10 p.m. • FSN, 96.3-FMLHP Jonathon Niese (1-0, 2.13...

  • Video: SidCast: Bring your galoshes to Twins game

    Friday April 12, 2013

    The Twins home game is still on for Friday despite the weather. Also, Sid's impressed with Richard Pitino so...

  • Scott Diamond

  • Scott Diamond likes the way he is throwing the ball after elbow surgery in December.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
Top 3rd123456789RHE
Cleveland000      020
Minnesota00       000
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
HR: CLE- None MIN- None

ADVERTISEMENT

Los Angeles - WP: C. Kershaw 14 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: E. Jackson 5
Boston 2 Top 5th Inning
Baltimore 1
Milwaukee 2 Bottom 5th Inning
Pittsburgh 0
Toronto 3 Top 6th Inning
NY Yankees 5
Washington 3 Bottom 5th Inning
Miami 2
Chicago WSox 0 Top 5th Inning
Tampa Bay 3
NY Mets 0 Top 4th Inning
Atlanta 0
Cleveland 0 Top 3rd Inning
Minnesota 0
Detroit 3 Top 2nd Inning
Kansas City 0
Seattle 0 Top 2nd Inning
Houston 1
Arizona 1 Bottom 2nd Inning
Colorado 0
Cincinnati 0 Top 2nd Inning
St. Louis 2
Philadelphia - D. Buchanan 8:35 PM
Oakland - J. Lester
Texas - L. Bonilla 9:05 PM
LA Angels - H. Santiago
San Francisco - T. Hudson 9:10 PM
San Diego - O. Despaigne
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
(5) Auburn 20 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 14
Connecticut 0 1st Qtr 0:25
So Florida 14
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:00 AM
NC State
Duke 9/27/14 2:00 AM
Miami-Florida
North Carolina 9/27/14 2:00 AM
(22) Clemson
Colorado 9:00 PM
Real Salt Lake
Toronto 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How sure are you that the Twins are on the road to improving?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close