Starting pitcher Scott Diamond and reliever Anthony Swarzak are expected to start Opening Day on the disabled list for two completely different injuries. Diamond was forced to undergo an operation this past December to clean bones chips out of his left elbow on his throwing arm. He was projected to be the Opening Day starter due to his top notch performance last season as the only bright spot in a rather dismal Minnesota starting rotation.
Diamond is expected to make his spring debut on Monday in a Minor League contest for the Twins. Minnesota would like to see him toss two innings in the Class-A game. Depending on how it goes, the organization will then have a better idea of when the 26-year-old will be able to return to the lineup.
Meanwhile, Swarzak is still recovering from breaking two ribs in January after a playful wrestling incident at TwinsFest went south quickly. The right-hander has been seen completing bullpen sessions, but has yet to make an appearance in a Spring Training game.
The problem Minnesota is facing with him is that he is a long reliever who has not been properly stretched out to handle multiple innings in consecutive games. This will obviously take some time to do and bullpen sessions are simply not going to get it done. Starting on the disabled list is the only option at this point so the team can buy some time to prepare the 27-year-old for the regular season.