MINNEAPOLIS -- Scott Baker said Friday that his right elbow feels much better after receiving another cortisone shot, but he will likely miss at least two starts. Baker had the shot after lasting just two innings in his start on Thursday against the Tigers. The starter was taken out of the game due to the tendinitis he had battled back in July flaring up again. This is the second cortisone shot that Baker has received -- the first came right before the All-Star break.
"I think you'd like to say that the last cortisone shot was the cure all, end all, but that's just not the case," Baker said. "It definitely feels better this time than the last time," he added about the second shot. "I don't know if that's due to it being in a better spot as far as the medicine. We'll have to see, but so far, so good." Baker said that since the first cortisone shot, he hadn't had any problems with his elbow until Thursday night. He started to feel his elbow in the first inning, but it wasn't the discomfort that forced him out of the start early. "It started to affect my pitches," Baker said. "I wasn't able to finish my pitches or get the ball down. So once that was the case, I wasn't doing the team any good or I wasn't doing myself any good. I felt that I had to say something." Baker said the plan is not to have him throw at all for three days, and manager Ron Gardenhire said the team will likely keep Baker out for at least two starts. With the expanded roster in September, the team can afford to be careful with the pitcher. "We just backed him up a few days the last time and everything went good, so we'll see," Gardenhire said. "We're definitely going to back it up a little bit more now because we can."