Rookie Thomas Diamond makes his major league debut tonight against the Brewers at Wrigley Field. Randy Bush, the Cubs assistant general manager, may know the 27-year-old righty better than anyone in the organization.
"I recruited him when he was in high school to play for the University of New Orleans," Bush said. "He pitched for me for three years there. I saw him develop from a young freshman, who had a lot of trouble getting college hitters out, to the 10th (overall draft) pick in the country as a junior.
"He's had a lot of injuries in his professional career ("Tommy John" elbow surgery in 2007). He's really battled through them. He's healthy now. He's had a great year for us (5-4 3.16 ERA for Triple-A Iowa). He's really worked hard. Mark Riggins our pitching coordinator and Mike Mason our pitching coach in Iowa have done a tremendous job with him. I'm thrilled he's earned this opportunity.
"Hopefully, he'll show everyone what made him the 10th pick in the country in 2004. He's got an outstanding arm. He's competitive. The issue with him has always been command of his breaking stuff. He's got an outstanding change-up. I hope he controls his emotions -- like I do for all of our young guys when they make their debut -- and goes out and competes the way I've seen him many, many times."