Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Scott Baker

The Twins young right-handed starter has been lighting it up in spring training so far, with an ERA under 1.00 in 11 innings pitched. On the ESPN.com Twins message board, people have been speculating about the possibility of the Twins trading Kyle Lohse and inserting Baker into the rotation. I wouldn't say that is very likely in the first place, since I doubt Lohse is at his maximum trade value right now after a poor 2004 campaign, but I also don't think it would be a good idea, and the ridiculous amount of hype that Baker is receiving is surprising and a little appalling to me. Now, I like the guy. He knows how to pitch, has good stuff, and is exceptionally mature for a 23 year-old. But for anyone to claim that he deserves a spot in the Twins' rotation on Opening Day is, in my opinion, going a little too far, even if he continues with the excellent performances he has had this spring thus far. He did quite well in the minors last year, shooting up to Triple-A Rochester, but once he got there he posted a 1-3 record with a 4.97 ERA. He's never pitched in the Majors, and I don't think you can put too much stock into 11 innings of spring exhibition play. The bullpen sounds like more of a realistic possibility if he is to be on the 25-man roster on Opening Day, but let's not go nuts just yet with talk of giving one of our current starters the boot.