What to expect from Diamond

Thomas Diamond has had a long and winding road to the major leagues. Warren Wimmer/Icon SMI

It took until he was 27 years old, but a former 10th overall pick has finally made it to the big leagues. Chicago Cubs starter Thomas Diamond had been producing at Triple-A (104 strikeouts in 108 1/3 innings and a 3.16 ERA over 21 starts), and I even considered him for the back end of my "Top 10 for '10" list (below) on a few occasions. But the Cubs just didn't have an open spot in their rotation for him -- until they traded Ted Lilly to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

That opened up a spot in their rotation, and Diamond filled it, making a 10-strikeout (albeit with 10 base runners), six-inning debut against the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday. He did need a lofty 122 pitches just to get through those six innings, but considering some of the trials and tribulations the 2004 first-round pick has been through, just making that start was a victory of sorts.

So is he a "diamond" in the rough?

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