As could have been expected, Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Scott Diamond has been suspended six games and fined an “undisclosed” amount after throwing a pitch near the head of Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton in the third inning of Thursday night’s game. Diamond was ejected immediately by home plate umpire Wally Bell, as he essentially retaliated for Twins’ catcher Joe Mauer being hit by a pitch from Rangers’ starter Roy Oswalt in the top of the same inning.
Diamond will apparently appeal the suspension, which could prolong his absence if that process lingers, but otherwise he will just have to have his next start moved back a day or two with little collateral damage for him or the team.
Diamond has been the ace of Minnesota’s pitching staff since being called up in early May, as he is 10-5 with a 3.04 ERA in 20 starts (130.1 innings) despite Thursday night’s abbreviated outing. He has 71 strikeouts and just 20 walks, good for a excellent 3.5 K/BB ratio, which has helped him be a very big surprise after struggling in his time with the Twins last season (1-5, 5.08 ERA in seven starts). Prior to being called up he went 4-1 with a 2.60 ERA over six starts (34.2 innings) for Triple-A Rochester, so there were some signs he could lock down a spot in the Twins’ starting rotation but surely no one expected him to be as good as he has been.
Diamond was picked in the Rule 5 draft from the Atlanta Braves in December of 2010, and is assured a spot in the Twins’ starting rotation next season with his performance this year. Ideally he would be a No. 3 starter on a good team, but where he fits in depends on what kind of offseason moves the Twins make in an effort to bolster the pitching staff.