9/6 Baker to start Sunday
Scott Baker will get to start after all. The right-handed pitcher, who has spent the season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery in April 2012, will start Sunday in the Cubs’ series finale against the Brewers at Wrigley Field.
“They definitely valued my opinion,” Baker said of the conversation he had with Dale Sveum and pitching coach Chris Bosio. “I said I feel like I need to pitch, I want to pitch. I appreciate the opportunity to get back out there. It’s going to be fun for sure.”
Baker, 31, said his family would be at the game at Wrigley Field.
“It’s been a long while since I started a Major League game, and there’s definitely a lot to be excited about,” he said. “Regardless of the results, I think you go out there and do the best you can and enjoy it. You never know when things are going to be taken away from you. You appreciate every start.”
His last big league start was Aug. 8, 2011, for the Twins. He made two relief appearances after that in September 2011.
“He’s done everything we’ve asked and worked his butt off,” Sveum said Friday. “There haven’t been any setbacks and I think he deserves a chance to start. We’ll see what happens when the third deck [of the stadium] gets on there. He’ll be the first one to say his stuff doesn’t have the life but you put the third deck on a stadium, and find out with the adrenaline and all that. I think he deserves the right to do that.”
The Cubs signed Baker to a one-year, $5.5 million contract this year, and there is no option for 2014. Baker isn’t looking too far ahead.
“We had conversations about what to do next and they value my opinion,” Baker said. “I thought it was important for me to pitch and pitch through September. I just told them there’s no way I can sit here and say I want to not pitch in a Major League game after going through this rehab process for two seasons. I’m just excited.”
– Carrie Muskat