Scott Baker has had success as a major-league starting pitcher, so when the Texas Rangers shuffled up their pitching staff recently — moving Tanner Scheppers and Robbie Ross back to the bullpen — one of the guys to benefit from the decision was Baker.
The veteran righty has made 162 starts in his career, and has fared fairly well for himself, posting a career ERA of 4.14 with a 63-48 record while pitching for some pretty so-so teams such as the Chicago Cubs and Minnesota Twins — mostly the Twins.
He was brought in this spring to provide some "just-in-case" depth to the Rangers pitching staff, and as we know, just in case has definitely happened with season-ending injuries to Martin Perez and Matt Harrison and Derek Holland still mending his knee.
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On Friday night, he'll get his first start with the Rangers, and his first since last September after he returned to the bigs with the Cubs after missing the first five months of the season and all of 2012 with injury.
Baker has made one appearance for the Rangers this year, in a long-relief outing in that dreadful series against the Colorado Rockies earlier this month. In that game, he gave up two runs on four hits in 5 1/3 innings.
With just about all hope lost for this season, Baker is one of the guys that could, theoretically, keep the Rangers' fortunes looking up if he can perform like he did prior to his injury when he had a 3.14 ERA in 21 starts in 2011.