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Updated: March 31st, 2012 11:56am
Scott Baker was 'letting it rip' on Saturday, but still lands on DL

Scott Baker was 'letting it rip' on Saturday, but still lands on DL

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Minnesota Twins general manager Terry Ryan announced Saturday that Scott Baker will be placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to March 27.

The move is mostly a procedural one, as Baker -- slowed by elbow tendonitis -- is no longer in line to make his originally-scheduled start in the Minnesota Twins' home opener on April 9.

Because the Twins don't need a fifth starter until April 15, it made sense to place Baker on the DL in order to free up an extra roster spot.

Baker threw a 60-pitch, four-inning outing against the Red Sox Triple-A affiliate on Saturday morning, allowing one earned run (a solo homer) on four hits and no walks with two strikeouts against a lineup that included David Ortiz and Kevin Youkilis. Baker said the outing was "definitely a step in the right direction."

"I definitely felt like the ball had more life today," he added. "I was seeing some swings and misses, which is always good. I was finishing breaking pitches, and there were some good hitters out there. It wasn't an easy test, but for the most part I felt pretty good.

"I think, honestly, I don't know how much better I could have done. My location was better and my arm felt good. ... I can only foresee arm strength becoming better and more consistent with throwing pitches down in the zone."

If everything checks out OK this week, Baker's next outing will come on Thursday in a minor league game. He will likely throw somewhere between 70 and 80 pitches.

On Friday, pitching coach Rick Anderson said he wanted to see Baker cut it loose and not hold back, assuming the right-hander's arm was healthy.

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

Phil Mackey is a columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd
In this story: Scott Baker
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