Will Diamond Take Our Minds Off Cubs' Wrinkles?

By Chris Rewers on Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Cubs announced Saturday that Thomas Diamond was purchased from Triple A Iowa and added to the team's 40-man roster. He will replace the departed Ted Lilly in the starting rotation.

The 27-year-old Diamond, a native of Metairie, La., will make his major league debut on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field against the Milwaukee Brewers.

"It is a dream come true," Diamond, a six-year minor league veteran told New Orleans.com. "I feel very blessed and I am happy for my family and all of those who have stayed behind me."

The 6-3, 240-pound right-hander is 5-4 with a 3.16 ERA in 21 starts for the Iowa Cubs this season. He is 0-2 with a 4.62 ERA in his last eight starts and has not won since June 14. Diamond was a starting pitcher in this year's Triple-A All-Star Game and worked two scoreless innings.

He was pulled from his last start on Thursday at Albuquerque by manager Ryne Sandberg after four shutout innings that included 65 pitches. Sandberg notified him of his ticket to the show Saturday evening.

"It was a long time coming," Diamond said. "I wanted to jump up and hug Ryno when he told me. I settled for a handshake."

Diamond was a first-round pick of the Texas Rangers in 2004. In 2005, Diamond was ranked by Baseball America as the No. 3 prospect in the Rangers system and the fourth best prospect in the Double A Texas League. His career, however, was stalled in 2006 when he tore a ligament in his pitching elbow and underwent Tommy John surgery.

Diamond pitched at the University of New Orleans (not Tulane, as was erroneously reported by the Tribune's Paul Sullivan on Saturday) while Cubs assistant general manager Randy Bush was the head coach for the Privateers.

Here's a 2004 scouting report on Diamond that was compiled by Will Kimmey of Baseball America while Diamond was still pitching in college. He was highly regarded.

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