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Scott Baker to undergo season-ending elbow surgery

Apr 11, 2012, 5:11 PM EDT

Scott Baker AP AP

Scott Baker has battled elbow problems since 2010, throwing just 135 innings last year and beginning this year on the disabled list, and after a recent setback the Twins announced today that he’ll undergo season-ending surgery.

It’s not Tommy John surgery, but rather a repair of his flexor pronator tendon, which carries a six-month recovery timetable.

That rules him out for this season and with Minnesota all but certain to decline his $9.5 million option for 2013 likely signals the end of his Twins career.

Baker topped 175 innings just once, throwing 200 in 2009, but when healthy he was consistently a solid No. 2 or No. 3 starter with excellent strikeout-to-walk ratios and a 3.98 ERA in 134 starts since 2007. It’s remarkable that he pitched as well he did last season, posting a 3.14 ERA and 123/32 K/BB ratio.

Baker being out of the picture likely means that prospect Liam Hendriks will get an opportunity to stick in the Twins’ rotation at age 23 and with little experience above Double-A.

  1. 7ransponder - Apr 11, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    Tough break, hope he recovers – the already abysmal starting pitching on this club just got downright depressing.

    MN sports lately I tell ya… bad injury after bad injury to key players. Mauer, Morneau, Rubio, Adrian Peterson, now Baker. Not a good time to be a MN sports fan.

    • fmlizard - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:11 PM

      Don’t forget Trevor Mbakwe, Gary Tinsley suddenly dying, all the other Twins injuries last year.

      It has gotten simply absurd. I have a standing bet with a friend that he collects $100 if Joe Mauer plays in more than 80 games or Morneau hits over 10 HR this year. I feel great about winning that one – neither will happen.

  2. visnovsky - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    This doesn’t surprise me at all. The Twins staff saying he was healthy and it just a mental thing seemed ridiculous. Now, it’s season ending surgery. Oops.

  3. natstowngreg - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    Has flexor pronator tendon surgery been named after anyone yet?

    But seriously, tough break for Baker and the Twins.

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