|Will Thomas Diamond continue to riddle the strike zone with bullets, or is his time as the king of K's coming to an end? Photo credit: The Art Newspaper|
It was fun to watch Thomas Diamond make his major league debut against the Brewers, not because it filled me with excitement for the future but because it obviously fulfilled a dream for him. On the mound, I thought his fastball in particular looked rather straight and flat, not unlike the Cubs' offense that failed to support him. I wasn't nearly as impressed with his pitching as I was delighted by his postgame interview.
He was glowing. His team had just lost, and he was positively beaming. It wasn't selfish . . . or at least he wasn't selfish in a negative way. The fact was, he pitched pretty well, including 10 K's, in his major league debut at the ripe old age of 27 (or, in Cubs terms, the perfect age for a bright young prospect). The delay in his arrival to the big leagues included Tommy John surgery in 2007, so I'd expect him to be happy about his debut despite the fact it came in a losing effort during a hopeless season for a team that might not include him in their future starting rotation plans.
But should they? Brad over at Cubs Stats doesn't think so, and I tend to believe the statistical approach he takes to assess Diamond's reality. I don't carry a lot of hope for Diamond becoming the next Randy Wells (strongly resisting making a diamond in the rough pun, so I'll just move on). Maybe he'll be a strong addition to next year's bullpen. Maybe he'll outshine my dim expectations as a starter. I'm not thinking about it in those terms, so for the moment I don't really care.
For 2010, I just hope Thomas Diamond has a few memorable starts that add some redeeming value to the remainder of this season. If he can smile his way through the afterglow of another Cubbie implosion, maybe he can help us do the same.
At the very least, I'm glad he's provided me with one key bit of trivia: he's the only MLB player ever to have the surname Diamond. Not a bad distinction to be known as the only human Major League Baseball Diamond ever.