Baker's elbow a concern again for Twins

  • Updated: March 15, 2012 - 5:51 AM

Twins righthander Scott Baker

Photo: Elizabeth Flores, Star Tribune file

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

CLEARWATER, FLA. - Scott Baker's throwing elbow has become a concern for the Twins again.

Baker would have pitched Thursday, when the Pirates come to Fort Myers, Fla., but his inability to get loose in a B game against Pittsburgh last Saturday raised some red flags.

Baker's fastball, which normally averages 91 miles per hour, was clocked between 83-86 mph in that outing, and he gave up six runs on six hits in 11/3 innings.

Baker, 30, made two trips to the disabled list last year because of a strained right flexor muscle and was limited to two starts after July 28.

Pitching coach Rick Anderson said he wants Baker to get through a bullpen session with no trouble before scheduling his next start. Baker told the staff his arm felt good during workouts Wednesday, but this is an issue the Twins will monitor daily.

Thome finds a glove

Jim Thome, who signed a one-year, $1.25 million deal to return to the Phillies, played four innings at first base in a minor-league game Monday. This is notable because Thome hasn't played first base in a regular-season game since 2007.

"He didn't even have a glove when he was with us," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Unlike the Phillies, the Twins had the option of giving Thome at-bats at DH. He hit 37 of his 604 career home runs for Minnesota.

"We didn't mess around with the other stuff [defensively] because he had the back issues," Gardenhire said. "Over here [with the Phillies], it's probably a good thing."

Thome, 41, is noticeably thinner these days. He slimmed down this offseason knowing he'd be playing some first base, while Ryan Howard recovers from a ruptured Achilles' tendon.

Thome didn't play against the Twins on Wednesday, but he greeted several of his former teammates near the batting cage.

Asked if playing first base was like riding a bike, he said, "It's not like a bike -- no. I think the key for me is getting my body to react again to playing the field and being out there more than I have in the last six or seven years."

Batting order query

Gardenhire plans to have Justin Morneau bat cleanup, between Joe Mauer and Josh Willingham. Asked if he sees a scenario where the righthanded-hitting Willingham would move in between the lefthanded-hitting M&M Boys, Gardenhire said it might happen against tough lefthanded pitchers.


• Denard Span (stiff neck) returned to the lineup and went 3-for-4. Tsuyoshi Nishioka (strained pinkie) went 1-for-4 in his return.

• Brian Duensing pitched two innings in a minor-league game, allowing one run on two hits with one strikeout.

On deck

Terry Doyle, the Rule 5 draft pick who allowed seven hits over 22/3 innings Saturday against Pittsburgh, gets another start against the Pirates on Thursday. Jo-Jo Reyes is scheduled to start for Pittsburgh.


  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Washington 102 FINAL
New York 91
Oklahoma City 114 FINAL
San Antonio 106
Cleveland 91 FINAL
Miami 101
LA Lakers 93 FINAL
Chicago 113
Golden State 86 FINAL
LA Clippers 100
DePaul 69 FINAL
Loyola Marymount 72
Ohio 58 FINAL
Nebraska 71
Colorado 66 FINAL
Hawaii 69
George Washington 60 FINAL
Wichita State 54
Central Mich 48 FINAL
Western Ky 49
Fresno State 6 FINAL
Rice 30
Illinois 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 7:00 PM
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 2:30 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Do you like the Twins' offseason moves so far?

Weekly Question