Coming off elbow surgery, Scott Diamond might not be ready for Opening Day

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When left-hander Scott Diamond had surgery in December to remove a bone chip from his throwing elbow, it was expected that he would be ready for spring training. However, it appears that he is running behind schedule.

LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune writes that while Diamond has begun his throwing program, it’s “really iffy if he will be ready for Opening Day.” Assuming he needs more time, the assignment could fall to one of the team’s offseason additions, Vance Worley or Kevin Correia. It’s worth noting that Worley had bone chips removed from his elbow last September, but he’s expected to be at full strength this spring.

Diamond, 26, went 12-9 with a 3.54 ERA and 90/31 K/BB ratio over 173 innings last season. The rest of the Twins’ starters had an ugly 5.86 ERA.

The Cards dealt Stephen Piscotty to the A’s, in part, so he could be near his ailing mother

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Last night we wrote about the rumored deal between the Cardinals and the Athletics for Stephen Piscotty. The deal is now official, with Piscotty going to Oakland for minor leaguers Yairo Munoz and Max Schrock.

Something else emerged about the deal today: a big reason why St. Louis traded Piscotty to Oakland as opposed to another team was so that he could be near his mother, who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease last May. Piscotty and his family are from Pleasanton, California, about 35 miles from Oakland.

Here’s Cardinals GM John Mozeliak:

This was certainly a baseball trade — Piscotty became expendable for the Cardinals after they acquired Marcell Ozuna yesterday — but it was one which could’ve been made with any team with a couple of red or white chip prospects. That Mozeliak considered Piscotty’s personal situation in making the deal with the A’s is a credit to him and his staff.

The 26-year-old Piscotty hit .235 with nine homers and 39 RBIs in 107 games last season. He has hit .268 with 38 homers and 163 RBIs in 2+ major league seasons. He agreed to a six-year, $33.5 million contract extension last spring.

As for the prospects in return: Munoz, 22, hit .300 with 13 homers and 68 RBIs this year for Double-A Midland and Triple-A Nashville. Schrock, 23, batted .321 with seven homers and 46 RBIs for Midland, and was a Texas League All-Star.