With first start set, Diamond focused on pitch count

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Left-hander Scott Diamond said Wednesday he's scheduled to make his Grapefruit League debut on March 18 against the Marlins at Hammond Stadium.

Diamond, who had a bone chip removed from his left elbow in December, threw his third bullpen session on Wednesday. He threw about 50 pitches and incorporated his curveball for the first time.

Diamond said he's excited he finally knows when he'll make his first start this spring, and will build his pitch count from there. It still remains unlikely he'll be ready to start the season, but Diamond said they're not looking quite that far ahead.

"The prediction was to get into a game by mid-March, so to have that date set helps me work toward another goal," Diamond said. "Then we'll just try to build up my pitch count as quick as possible."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.