PEORIA, Ariz. – The day after his first game in almost 18 months, Scott Baker felt sore enough that the Cubs sent him for a precautionary MRI.
The Cubs should know more about Baker’s condition by Tuesday as he carefully recovers from Tommy John surgery. The organization and the veteran right-hander had been targeting a mid-April return to the rotation, which would be the one-year mark since his ligament-replacement procedure.
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The Cubs hope it’s normal day-after symptoms that won’t impact Baker’s schedule. They felt he was a good medical risk when they signed him to a one-year, $5.5 million deal last November.
Baker faced six hitters and got one out during Sunday’s 12-6 loss to the Oakland A’s at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. His first inning could have looked different if he hadn’t just missed a strike-‘em-out, throw-‘em-out chance.
But Baker said he felt good and was still upbeat after giving up a three-run homer and two walks. He was just glad to be back on the mound, though clearly it will take time to get the feel back.
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“Did I locate as well as I would like to? No. That’s still part of the process,” Baker said afterward. “The results weren’t there, but physically I did everything I could to prepare for this outing, and that’s going to continue to be the case.”