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Updated: March 15th, 2012 12:04pm
Scott Baker's next start pushed back due to more elbow tenderness

Scott Baker's next start pushed back due to more elbow tenderness

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Scott Baker's right elbow has limited him to only 305 innings over the past two seasons, and the Minnesota Twins are watching it closely yet again.

Baker reported tenderness in the elbow after his outing in a 'B' game last Saturday, resulting in the Twins backing him off from pitching all week. He is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Friday. If all goes well, Baker will be slotted back into the rotation.

"This is kind of his history," general manager Terry Ryan said. "So we backed off just a tad. He's going to throw that 'pen, and hopefully everything will be back on track."

Baker underwent minor elbow surgery in October of 2010, and he spent two separate stints on the disabled list last season due to inflammation. Because of his history, the Twins have monitored Baker closely.

But as of right now, the team feels there is no need for an MRI.

"This is a standard thing that has happened to him every spring, and has for probably the last three or four years straight," Ryan said, adding "I'm not worried about Baker. ... It's not like this hasn't happened before."

Baker's 'B'-game outing last weekend took place at 10:30 a.m. after a 90-minute bus ride. Speaking to reporters afterward, Baker didn't seem pleased with the process -- or the result, which saw him give up five earned runs in just two innings.

The Twins arrived to the Pirates' spring training complex 30 minutes before the 'B' game began, and a Twins official said Baker usually needs 30-35 minutes to warm up prior to a start. So rather than starting his outing in the first inning, Baker came in for the third inning.

His velocity appeared to be down, but he also didn't appear to be throwing at full-speed.

In that outing, five of the 11 batted balls hit off Baker were line drives.

"We got him out of his routine," Ryan said. "It was a little bit of an awkward day. But there aren't any excuses here. He's just tender."

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.
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