Diamond ready to return to mound on Saturday

Diamond ready to return to mound on Saturday

MINNEAPOLIS -- Left-hander Scott Diamond rejoined his teammates at Target Field on Friday in anticipation of his first start of the season against the Mets on Saturday.

Diamond, who had surgery to remove a bone chip from his left elbow in December, will be activated from the 15-day disabled list before Saturday's game. He last pitched on Sunday in a rehab outing with Class A Advanced Fort Myers, and gave up four runs on six hits over five innings.

"I'm really excited to be back," Diamond said. "Just being back in the locker room and seeing the guys again, I kinda missed them. So it's good to be back."

Diamond added there will be no limitations in his first start, as he threw 82 pitches in his last outing and felt great. He said his goal is to pick up where he left off last season, when he posted a 3.54 ERA in 27 starts as a rookie.

"I'm going to try to repeat last year. Whether or not the numbers look the same, there are a lot of positives and things I learned from last year. Some mental triggers I hope I can repeat this year. It is a new year, so it's a fresh start."

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.