When the photo above was taken at Rangers spring training on February 23, 2005, Thomas Diamond was not quite 22 years old and coming off a good first professional season in the Rangers organization. In 2005, he was part of a Double-A team at Frisco in the Texas League that included John Danks and Edinson Volquez. He was a first-round pick of the Rangers in 2004 (the 10th overall pick).
Danks and Volquez eventually got traded and became solid major league pitchers... and Diamond got hurt. He missed the entire 2007 season, came back at a lesser level in 2008, and then the Rangers let him go after he had a mediocre 2009. The Cubs signed him last September at the urging of assistant GM Randy Bush, who was his college coach at the University of New Orleans.
Diamond isn't young any more -- he's 27 -- but he appears to have come all the way back from Tommy John surgery. He's had a solid year at Iowa with a 3.16 ERA, a 1.22 WHIP, and 104 strikeouts in 108.1 innings in 21 starts. He's worked hard to get back to what appears to be close to that #1 pick level, and maybe he'll be an, um, "Diamond in the rough" for the Cubs rotation (sorry, had to do it).
Lineup via tweet from Carrie:
#Cubs Tue lineup RF Colvin, SS Castro, 1B Lee, 3B Ramy, CF Byrd, LF Sori, C Soto, 2B DeWitt, P Diamond, making ML debut
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2010 - Chris Narveson||8-7||26||17||0||0||0||1||103.2||119||70||68||16||37||80||5.90||1.50|
One more note about today's ML debut for Thomas Diamond. The last time the Cubs had a pitcher make his major league debut as a starting pitcher was August 16, 2006, when Ryan O'Malley made that famous ride from Round Rock to Houston to make the emergency start after the team went through the entire staff in an 18-inning game the night before. The Cubs had two other pitchers make ML debuts as starters in 2006: Sean Marshall on April 9, 2006, and Angel Guzman on April 26, 2006.
Chris Narveson has made one career start vs. the Cubs, on September 23, 2009. He allowed one run in 5.2 innings, struck out 10, and got the win. However, before that he made seven relief appearances vs. the Cubs. In those appearances he threw 8.1 innings, allowed 11 hits and five walks and posted a 6.48 ERA. That's the Narveson we hope we see tonight.
Tonight's game is on CSN Chicago and FSN Wisconsin. Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
Tonight's first pitch thread will be up at 7 pm CDT, and the overflows will post at 8 pm, 9 pm and 9:45 pm CDT.
Discuss amongst yourselves.