Baker a possibility to start Tuesday for Twins

Baker a possibility to start Tuesday for Twins

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins could possibly be going to a six-man rotation for the rest of the regular season. At the very least they are adding a starter into the mix for the next turn of the rotation.

Manager Ron Gardenhire said after Saturday's 4-2 victory over the A's that Scott Baker will likely start Tuesday's game against the Indians. That would have been the day that Carl Pavano would start, but the Twins are planning to push back Pavano a couple days and give the rest of their starters at least an extra day between outings.

"We're going to give everybody a chance to stretch out and bounce back with our rotation," Gardenhire said. "It's time that we make sure these guys get that extra day. Every one of them has thrown better when they've had the extra day, and we're going to try to do that."

Baker, who has been out since Sept. 2 due to a recurrence of tendinitis in his right elbow, threw a bullpen session on Saturday and everything went well, according to Gardenhire. That leaves him on schedule to be able to start Tuesday.

Pavano has thrown 210 innings so far this season and he has been battling a stiff neck recently. Gardenhire said that Pavano didn't really want to have his start pushed back, but the club felt it was the best thing for him and for the rest of the starters -- even if it might prevent Pavano, who currently has 17 wins, from getting a chance to possibly go for 20, if he could make three more starts this season.

"Obviously everyone would like that," Gardenhire said. "But we also know that he's logged a lot of innings and we have to make sure that we protect him a little bit here. He wants to pitch. We've told him this is the way it's going to be. ... We're going to protect ourselves and make sure our pitchers get a little bit of a break."

As for whether the six-man rotation could be used for the remainder of the season, Gardenhire said it's a possibility.

"We've only got one day off left and we want to make sure we do everything right here with our starters and give them the break that they need," Gardenhire said.