9/3 Baker unsure of next step
Scott Baker made his final Minor League rehab start Monday, and felt good about finally getting into the sixth inning in a game. But the right-hander, who is coming back from Tommy John surgery, still isn’t sure what’s next, and neither are the Cubs. Dale Sveum said the team was still evaluating Baker’s situation, and trying to determine the next step. Starting for the Cubs in the final month is apparently not in the plans.
“At one time, we figured he’d be back maybe at the All-Star break and he obviously had a setback,” Sveum said. “It’s something you want to evaluate for next year becuase we did spend a lot of time and effort getting him back.”
Baker signed a $5.5 million contract this season, and had hoped to return for the second half of the season. In his outing Monday for Class A Kane County, he threw 80 pitches over 5 2/3 innings. However, the velocity is not where he’d like.
The Minor League teams have completed their regular seasons. The right-hander wasn’t sure what’s next.
“Nobody’s told me either way,” Baker said. “[Not starting] is news to me if that’s the case. I understand there are guys who have come over in trades, and there’s a lot of guys here with a limited amount of innings to throw. I get it, I get why they would say that.
“Of course, I do want to start, whether it’s here or there or anywhere because that’s what I’ve always done,” he said. “I don’t have a lot of experience doing anything else and I enjoy starting. That is what I want to do.”
Baker seems to be healthy, bouncing back from the rehab outings. He’s not signed for next season. What about 2014?
“I really haven’t thought about next year,” Baker said, “because there’s a lot that needs to happen this year to set up next year.”
— Carrie Muskat