Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Scott Diamond’s dream to take the mound on Opening Day took another step in the right direction after the team announced when he will make his Spring Training debut.
The left-hander was projected as the Opening Day starter due to his top notch performance last season as the only bright spot in a rather dismal Minnesota starting rotation. Unfortunately, bone chips in the elbow of his throwing arm forced him to undergo an operation to clean it out this past December.
The good news is that Diamond threw a successful bullpen session Wednesday afternoon in which he tossed more than 50 pitches. This was a very important step in the rehabilitation process to get the rookie sensation back to full strength. He must now throw two more bullpen sessions and two batting practices before he can finally make his spring debut on March 18.
The Twins will desperately need Diamond’s presence this year in the competitive American League Central division that has seen every team make significant improvements. Considering Minnesota’s starting rotation ranked dead last in the American League in 2012 in earned run average (5.40), games won (39), innings pitched (880), strikeouts (541) and opponent batting average (.291), they cannot afford to have their ace miss any games.
Opening Day is certainly a long shot at this point and Diamond would be happy to just make a start within the first five games of the season, but he is still not giving up hope on his dream.
“At that point, it’s just trying to get my pitch count up,” Diamond said, according to TwinCities.com. “Honestly, your guess is as good as mine. It’s going to be tight. At this point, I don’t think we’ve ruled anything out yet, but it’s going to be down to the wire.”
Even if Diamond does not start the first game of the season in 2013, there is no question he is talented enough to get the nod at some point down the road.