Initially when Scott Diamond had surgery in December to remove bone spurs from his elbow the Twins said he’d be recovered in plenty of time for the season, but setbacks followed and now the left-hander will begin the year on the disabled list.
Diamond is healthy enough to pitch in a minor-league game today and was clocked in the high-80s, but told reporters afterward that he’s aiming to make his regular season debut on April 12.
If healthy Diamond almost surely would have drawn the Opening Day start for the Twins, who’re now probably looking at Vance Worley facing Justin Verlander in Game 1.
In related news it’s going to be another long season in Minnesota, but at least it’s 18 degrees and snowing heavily here on March 18.
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.