JB: Jays find a Guelph Diamond for Buffalo
By Andrew Hendriks
Canadian Baseball Network
The Blue Jays added yet another Canadian-born lefty to the organization with the signing of minor league free agent, Scott Diamond on Tuesday
Diamond, 29, spent all of 2015 with triple-A Durham where the Premier 12 standout led Tampa Bay’s top farm club in starts (25), innings pitched (150.1) and wins with 11 on the season.
A native of Guelph, Ont., Diamond joins the Blue Jays organization having appeared in 58 games across parts of three seasons at the MLB level. Winning as many as 12 games in a single season (2012), the Canadian southpaw broke in with the Minnesota Twins during the 2011 campaign, and owns an overall ERA of 4.43 across 343 innings of work in the Show.
Never one to blow the opposition away with heat, Diamond has predominately lived within the 88-90 MPH range during his career within the professional ranks. Having complemented his fastball control with both a 12-6 curve ball and effective slider, the former AL leader amongst qualified starters in fewest walks per nine innings (2011) has generated a 50% ground ball percentage over his brief showing in the Majors, surrendering only 41 home runs across 58 big league starts.
With veteran lefty Mark Buehrle now out of the Jays fold, in addition to the fact that trade deadline prize, David Price remains on the free agent market late into November, the Blue Jays starting rotation includes only Marcus Stroman, R.A. Dickey and Marco Estrada as locks ahead of next season.
In addition to relievers Aaron Sanchez and Roberto Osuna, internal options such as Drew Hutchison, Jesse Chavez and Chad Jenkins are all within the mix in regards to filling the two current vacancies. That said, if the club intends on best replicating the kind of success that brought Toronto it’s fist American League East title in over 20 years last fall, perhaps its best not to tamper with the bullpen. This would then leave a four horse race between Chavez, Jenkins, Hutchison and Diamond.
Considering how Jeff Francis, Andrew Albers and Shawn Hill have all pitched for triple-A Buffalo in years past, Diamond could become the fourth Canadian-born hurler to make an appearance for the Bisons since the Blue Jays stuck a minor-league development deal with the Herd in 2013.
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