When Minnesota Twins right-hander Scott Baker was initially placed on the 15-day disabled list, the club expected him to be back in time to make an April 15start. Unfortunately for Baker and the Twins, the veteran will not be returning at all for Minnesota in 2012. Yesterday the Twins announced that Baker will undergo season-ending elbow surgery to repair a flexor pronator tendon.
Minnesota decided to take it slow with Baker and placed him on their DL to start the season. Still, it was expected that Baker would return and be available the first time the Twins required a fifth starter. The right-hander was able to pitch this spring, but the Twins were being cautious due to Baker’s lingering elbow issues.
The 30-year-old has been a staple in the Twins rotation since he made 16 starts for the club in 2006. Over his seven seasons with Minnesota, Baker has maintained an ERA and WHIP of 4.15 and 1.264 with 7.2 SO/9 and 2.1 BB/9.
Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com reported yesterday that the Twins will look to replace Baker using in-house options. Bollinger noted that Jason Marquis is close to returning to the rotation and that Minnesota will also look to Anthony Swarzak and Liam Hendriks.
While Baker is one of the longest tenured members of Minnesota’s staff, Bollinger speculated that he may have thrown his last pitch for the Twins. Baker has no more guaranteed years on his current contract, as the Twins hold a $9 million option for 2013. For his part, Baker is hoping to remain with the Twins.
For more on the Twin, be sure to check out Puckett’s Pond.