Thursday, April 12, 2012

Contemplating Scott Baker

A glum Scott Baker with Terry Ryan at Wednesday's
All spring, Terry Ryan kept saying of Scott Baker: He's not injured. He just needs to cut it loose.

And on Wednesday the general manager and the pitcher announced that Baker is to have season-ending elbow surgery.

I again fall back on this foundation opinion: The athletes who reach this level didn't get there by looking for reasons not to play. Nobody else is in his body, nobody else knows what pain or discomfort he experiences. When a player says he can't perform, I have to believe him.


Back during training camp I put up a post speculating on the makeup of the 2013 rotation. Some commenters said then that the Twins would pick up Baker's $9.25 million option for that season. I dare say that this injury forecloses that possibility. If Baker returns, it will be for considerably less.


Liam Hendriks was designated to fill Baker's rotation spot when the season opened, although his bout of food poisoning kept him from making his first start. Hendriks now figures to get a clear shot at a full season in the big-league rotation, and Anthony Swarzak becomes the first option if and when a new starter is needed.

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