When the Twins announced last week that starter Scott Baker needed an elbow procedure and would miss the rest of the 2012 season, they claimed that his ulnar collateral ligament was fine and that it was his flexor pronator tendon that required repairing.
That was either incorrect or untrue.
According to MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger, Baker underwent Tommy John reconstructive surgery on his throwing elbow Tuesday in New York after Dr. David Altchek found significant damage involving the 30-year-old right-hander’s UCL. What was once a six-month recovery is now sure to be a 12-month one.
Baker, 30, registered a solid 3.14 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 123/32 K/BB ratio across 134 2/3 innings last season. But the Twins are all but certain to decline his $9.25 million club option for the 2013 campaign.
Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.
The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.
The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.