Saturday, April 11, 2015

Collecting the Durham Bulls: Scott Diamond

The Rays signed Scott Diamond to a contract just last week and sent him down to Durham.  Bulls fans might have seen Diamond previously with the Rochester Red Wings, Louisville Bats, or the Gwinnett Braves.  Diamond originally made it up to the Majors when the Twins made him a Rule 5 Draft Pick back in 2010.  After spending time with Rochester Diamond got 7 starts with the Twins in 2011.  He went 1-5 with a 5.08 ERA.  Not too great, but he bounced back strong in 2012.  He started 27 games that season and posted a 12-9 record with a 3.54 ERA.  His ERA+ was 116 and his walks per nine led the American League.

2013 was a step back for Diamond at 6-13 with a 5.43 ERA, 21 home runs allowed in 131 innings, and an ERA+ of 75.  He did end up back in the International League that year and had a fine 4-0 record with a 2.93 ERA.  Still the Twins ended up releasing the left handed starter who was then signed by the Reds making 2014 a split season between the Louisville Bats and Rochester.  Diamond went a combined 5-12 with a 6.57 ERA.  Not a great season.

The Rays are hoping that Diamond can regain his 2012 form with the Bulls.  Given the injuries that have struck the Rays pitching staff early this season, and some of the struggles that some of the young pitchers on the team have had, it wouldn't be surprising to see Diamond get a spot start for the Rays at some point in the year.



Cardwise Diamond has a lot of cardboard.  His rookie cards were in 2012 releases and can be found in Topps Update and Panini Prism.  The Panini card has an autographed variation to go along with all of the normal colors and different number parallels that can be found in that same.  Same for his rookie Topps Update card minus the autographed parallel.  Almost all of Diamond's rookie cards, including the Panini autograph, can be found for less than $5 shipped.


2013 is the prime year for Scott Diamond cards.  Diamond basically had an autograph in almost every major Topps product that year.  He was in the base Topps set, Gypsy Queen, Heritage, Tribute, Tier One, Turkey Red, and Allen & Ginter.  I picked up a Diamond autograph on the cheap awhile back, but the price has not really changed over the past few years.  Almost all of his signatures, brand does not matter, are all under $5.  You might have to pay some shipping that would bump some of those cards over $5, but still.....

I like the idea of having players like Diamond around.  He's got Major League experience and has won big in some of his previous Minor League stops.

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