Diamond Debuts, Beavan Impresses in Tacoma
Less than a week after first-baseman Mitch Moreland (’08) became the third former King to make a big-league debut, right-hander Thomas Diamond (’04, pictured left) stepped to the mound for the Chicago Cubs to make his first Major League start last night against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Diamond struck out 10 of the 27 batters he faced over 6.0 innings, but also allowed three runs on seven hits as the Cubs lost, 4-3 to the Brewers at Wrigley Field. He became only the second Cub in 90 seasons to strike out 10 in his debut.
Amongst his seven seasons in the Minors (all in the Texas chain until this year) was the 2004 season with Clinton, in which Diamond went 1-0 with a 2.05 ERA in seven starts. He walked only eight while fanning 42 batters over 30.2 innings as a LumberKing. Diamond joins Moreland, first-baseman Justin Smoak (’08) and right-hande Omar Beltre (’03) as former LumberKings who have made Major League debuts this season.
Diamond isn’t the only former Clinton pitcher moving up in recent days. Right-hander Blake Beavan, a member of the 2008 Kings, moved up to triple-A Tacoma and earned a win in his first start with the Rainiers.
Recently acquired by the Seattle Mariners in the deal that sent Cliff Lee to Texas, Beavan was denied his triple-A debut with Oklahoma City but did not have to wait long to get his shot in Seattle. The Irving, TX native and former first-round pick worked 6.0 innings, yielding two runs on seven hits and striking out two in a 9-3 win over Reno.
Right-hander Josh Lueke (’07-’08) has also joined Beavan in Tacoma and has pitched well so far, going 0-0 with a 3.00 ERA, no walks and five strikeouts over 3.0 innings. At least for now, infielder Matt Lawson (’08) has not moved up to Tacoma despite hitting .365 with four doubles, two HR and 14 RBI in just 15 games with double-A West Tenn.
Elsewhere, right-hander Evan Reed (’07-’08) made his first outing as a Florida Marlins farmhand last Saturday, pitching in relief for the double-A Jacksonville Suns. Reed worked 1.2 innings and struck out one of the six Carolina Mudcats’ hitters he faced. The former Clinton starter was shipped by the Rangers along with right-hander Omar Poveda (’06-’07) in the deal that brought them Jorge Cantu. Poveda is still coming back from Tommy John surgery.
Through five games, four starts with double-A Richmond, left-hander Michael Main (’08) is 0-3 with a 13.83 ERA in what has been a rough introduction to the San Francisco system. The former first-round pick has battled control issues with 14 walks and seven strikeouts over 13.2 innings so far. Main was acquired by the Giants in the deal that sent catcher Bengie Molina to the Rangers.
With our bus to the Quad Cities leaving in less than an hour, that’s all the time I have for today. I’ll hopefully have a new interview and game notes prior to the 7:00 PM game against the River Bandits tonight.