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08/25/09 7:00 PM ET
Diamond headlines AFL participants
Rangers send righty, five others to play for Surprise
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Right-hander Thomas Diamond is among six players being sent by the Rangers to the Arizona Fall League. Diamond will be joined by pitchers Brennan Garr and Evan Reed, catcher Doug Hogan, infielder Marcus Lemon and outfielder Mitch Moreland. The Rangers are also expected to add one more pitcher to play for the Surprise Rafters. Diamond, whose career was sidetracked when he underwent Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery in 2007, was the Rangers' No. 1 pick in the '04 First-Year Player Draft and their Minor League Pitcher of the Year his first full professional season. The Rangers moved him to the bullpen this season, and he is currently 1-3 with a 3.19 ERA in 30 relief appearances for Double-A Frisco. In 42 1/3 innings, he has allowed 40 hits and 34 walks while striking out 47. "He's thrown the ball well recently and handled the transition to the bullpen," general manager Jon Daniels said. "He has been healthy the better part of the last two years, except for a bone spur in his foot. Those problems are behind him." Daniels said Diamond will continue to throw out of the bullpen in Arizona. "That's the developmental plan for him at this point," Daniels said. Moreland was having a terrific Minor League season for the Rangers before he fouled off a pitch and broke his right foot on Aug. 13. At the time, he was hitting .331 with 16 home runs and 85 RBIs in 116 games and 471 at-bats between Class A Bakersfield and Double-A Frisco. Daniels said Moreland is expected to be sidelined four to six weeks and should be ready for the Arizona Fall League. Moreland was a 17th-round Draft pick in 2007 out of Mississippi State. Lemon, a fourth-round pick in 2006 out of Eustis [Fla.] High, is hitting .266 with 51 runs scored, one home run, 41 RBIs and five stolen bases at Frisco, while Hogan, an 18th-round pick out of Clemson in '08, is hitting .244 with 16 home runs and 45 RBIs in 76 games and 270 at-bats combined at Bakersfield, Hickory and the Arizona Rookie League Rangers. Garr, a ninth-round pick in 2006 out of the University of Northern Colorado, is 2-3 with a 3.76 ERA in 36 games between Bakersfield and Frisco while Reed is 2-2 with a 3.32 ERA in 38 games at Bakersfield. The extra pitcher could be Tanner Scheppers, who was the 44th-overall pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft. The Rangers haven't signed him yet, but they would like to get something done soon so he could pitch in Arizona. "That's a possibility, but we've got to get him signed first," Daniels said.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.