Twins' Scott Baker will begin season on disabled list

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 1, 2012 - 12:29 AM

His elbow trouble will keep him in Florida, but he says he is confident he will be ready soon.

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For the second time in four seasons, Scott Baker, center, will open the season on the disabled list rather than with the Twins.

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FORT MYERS, FLA. - The Twins placed pitcher Scott Baker on the 15-day disabled list Saturday, even after he took another step in his recovery from right elbow tendinitis.

And with Jason Marquis continuing to deal with a family emergency, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire confirmed that the team will use four starters the first time through the rotation in this order: Carl Pavano, Francisco Liriano, Liam Hendriks and Nick Blackburn.

On Saturday morning, Baker gave up one run over four innings, using 60 pitches, in a start against Boston's Class AAA squad.

"I'm letting it rip, but is my arm 100 percent, or midseason form? No," Baker said. "I'm definitely confident it will get there, but it just might take a little bit of building up the pitch count."

Baker won't break camp with the Twins on Wednesday, but he is tentatively scheduled to pitch in the Class A Fort Myers season opener on Thursday. That comes 10 days before the Twins play the Rangers on April 15, which will be the first time they need a No. 5 starter.

But General Manager Terry Ryan made it clear that if Hendriks pitches well, he could stay in the rotation.

"Once you give that guy the ball, and he keeps getting people out, you keep giving him the ball," Ryan said.

Marquis remains in Staten Island, N.Y., where the veteran righthander's 7-year-old daughter, Reese, was in a serious bicycle accident. She is making progress, and the Twins have told Marquis to take all the time he needs.

  • COUNTDOWN TO OPENER Twins at Baltimore: 2:05 p.m. Friday • Camden Yards • TV: FSN (1500-AM)

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