05/04/08 3:24 PM ET
Baker to have MRI on Monday
Twins set to bring Slowey off DL to make Thursday's start
By Leslie Parker / Special to MLB.com
Baker exited his outing after cruising through the first three innings, throwing 30 of his 43 pitches for strikes. He allowed no runs and had yielded only one hit, but said he tweaked his groin on the last pitch of the third frame.
Baker hesitated to even mention it to his coaches between innings, but thought better of it because of the nature of the injury. He reported that he was neither sore nor stiff on Sunday morning.
"You don't want it to linger. You've got to make sure it's completely gone before you try to do anything," Baker said Sunday. "I really and truly felt that maybe I was a couple days away from it being completely gone. It's just tough to tell, because I didn't feel it."
Acting manager Scott Ullger said the team wouldn't be making any decisions about sending Baker to the DL until after the MRI; the Twins will likely wait until manager Ron Gardenhire rejoins the team in Chicago on Wednesday. Gardenhire is away from the team due to the death of his oldest brother, Mike.
The Twins announced during Sunday's game that Kevin Slowey will be the probable starter for Thursday's game in Chicago, which was supposed to be Baker's next start. They will recall Slowey, who has been on the DL with a right biceps strain, sometime before Thursday's game and announce a corresponding roster move then. Slowey last pitched on May 1, for the Triple-A Rochester Redwings, when he gave up two earned runs over five innings. He allowed two walks and struck out nine.
It is expected that, depending on the results of Baker's MRI, Baker will either head to the disabled list, or reliever Bobby Korecky will be sent down to the Minors.
It's already been a tough spring for Baker, who was sidelined in Spring Training camp with the flu and a strained lat muscle. When asked Sunday if he's felt 100 percent in any start this season, Baker laughed while trying to search his memory.
"Spring Training is such a time, I don't know if you ever feel 100 percent. I think out of all the different things I had, being sick was definitely the worst by far," Baker said. "You're talking about a little ailment here and a little ailment there, but that was the whole body not feeling good and just feeling weak. It's just one of those things because I do take a lot of pride in my conditioning and I prepare myself. My flexibility is about as good as it can be. It's just one of those things you don't have any control over. It just kind of happens, and you just do the best you can with it to get back as soon as possible."
Baker reported that he did all of the conditioning exercises on Sunday that he usually does the day after his start and did not feel any pain when doing the exercises or walking around. But since the injury is in Baker's push-off leg, he said he wants to be extra careful. He will continue with linear exercises, but stay away from side-to-side work that could aggravate the injury.
"There's just no way around it. You can't pitch through it and have it get better," Baker said. "It's just part of the chain -- if it's the weakest link, it's going to take the most stress. It just needs to be 100 percent before a game-type situation doesn't affect it."
Leslie Parker is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.