As the Minnesota Twins entered the series finale against the Cleveland Indians on Sunday, the team was full of optimism as they attempted to extend their winning streak and complete a sweep to start out the second half of the season. The optimism surrounding the Twins quickly faded as starting pitcher Scott Diamond, yet again, struggled to make a competent start which led the Twins to a 7-1 defeat at the hands of the Indians. As Diamond’s poor starts keep compounding one another, one has to wonder how long the Twins are willing to give Diamond to figure it out before turning to another pitcher who could give the team a better chance to win.
Diamond’s stat-line on the day was 4.2 innings, seven hits, six runs, five earned and three walks over 91 pitches, only 55 of which were strikes. That type of performance is not what people around the organization have grown accustomed to with Diamond over his two seasons with the team, but it certainly has been the type of performances that have become common for Diamond this season.
Last year, Diamond was undoubtedly the Twins most reliable starter; this year, he may be one of the most frustrating. Diamond is a command pitcher who makes his living by working the corners of the plate and throwing strikes; he has done neither consistently this season and as a result, he has struggled mightily. The Twins don’t have a lot of options to replace Diamond with, but Vance Worley has been pitching better as of late in Triple-A and could use another look at the majors for the Twins to further evaluate what type of player Worley is and whether or not he fits into their long-term plans. With the trading deadline approaching, Worley’s name could surface as a possible trade candidate. Thus, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Worley make a few starts in the majors before the deadline to increase his value; but time is running out.
Worley is currently sporting a 3.88 ERA and a 6-3 record, so he certainly could be a viable option for the Twins moving forward; but whether or not he has fixed the issues that got him sent to the minors in the first place will ultimately determine whether or not he gets promoted in favor of Diamond.
In the grand scheme of things, with the team still way out of contention, I think the Twins will give Diamond every opportunity to turn things around here in the majors; but then again, I never saw the huge demotion of Oswaldo Arcia and Chris Parmelee coming either. With that in mind, anything with Diamond is possible.