Scott Baker to undergo season-ending elbow surgery

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Scott Baker has battled elbow problems since 2010, throwing just 135 innings last year and beginning this year on the disabled list, and after a recent setback the Twins announced today that he’ll undergo season-ending surgery.

It’s not Tommy John surgery, but rather a repair of his flexor pronator tendon, which carries a six-month recovery timetable.

That rules him out for this season and with Minnesota all but certain to decline his $9.5 million option for 2013 likely signals the end of his Twins career.

Baker topped 175 innings just once, throwing 200 in 2009, but when healthy he was consistently a solid No. 2 or No. 3 starter with excellent strikeout-to-walk ratios and a 3.98 ERA in 134 starts since 2007. It’s remarkable that he pitched as well he did last season, posting a 3.14 ERA and 123/32 K/BB ratio.

Baker being out of the picture likely means that prospect Liam Hendriks will get an opportunity to stick in the Twins’ rotation at age 23 and with little experience above Double-A.