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Scott Diamond

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Scott Michael Diamond

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Despite being undrafted out of college, Scott Diamond went 15-3 his first year as a pro.

Diamond had a 1.85 ERA in high school and struck out 181 in 166 1/3. Slam Sports in Canada ranked him as the #26 Canadian entering the 2004 amateur draft. He was 4-6 with a 4.15 ERA as a college freshman at SUNY Binghamton and was named the America East Conference Rookie of the Year, beating out Curt Smith among others. Diamond fell to 5-6, 5.14 in his sophomore season, well back of Binghamton's top two hurlers. In 2007, the southpaw improved to 5-3, 3.45 but was now the #4 man on the staff. He was signed by the Atlanta Braves and scouts Paul Faulk and Lonnie Goldberg following the 2007 amateur draft (in which he was not picked) for about $50,000.

Diamond made his pro debut in 2008. He began with the Rome Braves, going 3-1 with a 3.08 ERA in 9 starts. That earned him a promotion to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, where he went 12-2 with a 2.79 ERA, striking out 85 and walking 28 in 100 innings while holding left-handed hitters to a .190 average. One of the other stars on the staff was a fellow Canadian, reliever Bryan Dumesnil. Had he qualified, Diamond would have led the Carolina League in ERA ahead of Jake Arrieta. He tied Carlton Smith and Aaron Hartsock for the league lead in wins despite joining the league during the season. He also led all Braves minor leaguers in victories. Diamond tied six others (including Madison Bumgarner and Adam Pettyjohn) for 5th in the affiliated minors in wins.

Diamond was on the Canadian roster for the 2009 World Baseball Classic, a far cry from where he had been a year earlier. He came on in relief of Vince Perkins and T.J. Burton in the 4th inning of Canada's game against Italy. He spent 2009 with the Mississippi Braves of the AA Southern League, going 5-10, 3.50 in 23 starts. In spite of his mediocre won-loss record, he was a mid-season Southern League All-Star. He started 2010 back with Mississippi, then graduated to the AAA Gwinnett Braves in mid-year. He was 4-6, 3.52 in AA and 4-1, 3.36 in his first taste of AAA. Overall, in 27 starts, his record was 8-7 with a solid 3.46 ERA in 158 2/3 innings, during which he struck out 123 batters.

After the 2010 season, Diamond was picked by the Minnesota Twins in the 2010 Rule V Draft. He was sent to the AAA Rochester Red Wings to begin the 2011 season, but did not pitch as well as the previous year. In his first 17 starts, he was 4-8 with a 4.70 ERA, but the Twins still called him up to start the second game of a doubleheader against the Cleveland Indians on July 18. Pitching in sweltering weather at Target Field, he gave up 4 runs in 6 1/3 innings to be charged with a loss. After two losses, he earned his first major league win on August 31st, beating the Chicago White Sox, 7-6. His teammates made things easy for him, as he had a 6-0 lead before he even took the mound in the 1st inning; he then left the game after 6 innings, holding a 7-3 lead, but his bullpen made things interesting after that. He ended the year with a 1-5, 5.08 record in 7 starts. He began the 2012 season at Rochester, putting up a solid 2.60 ERA in the early going. That earned him a call-up to Minnesota, and in his first start on May 8th, he was outstanding, pitching 7 scoreless innings to lead the Twins to a 5-0 shutout of the Los Angeles Angels. He kept it up in his next outing, May 13th against the Toronto Blue Jays, when he tossed another 7 scoreless innings for his second win of the year. He tossed his first major league shutout on July 27th, beating the Cleveland Indians, 11-0, on a three-hitter. In that game, he retired the 14 batters of the game before Travis Hafner managed a first single with two outs in the 5th. That win improved his record on the year to 9-4, 2.88. On August 24th, he was handed a six-game suspension for throwing a pitch behind the head of the Texas Rangers' Josh Hamilton in the 3rd inning of the previous day's game; the Twins Joe Mauer had been hit by a pitch thrown by Roy Oswalt in the top of the inning, and umpire Wally Bell immediately ejected Scott. He appealed the suspension, claiming the pitch was not intentional.

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