Scott Baker looks good in rehab assignment in Kane County
BY MIKE KNAPP For Sun-Times Media August 23, 2013 10:48PM
Chicago Cubs Photo Day
Updated: September 25, 2013 6:17AM
After a rough few starts in his minor league rehab assignment, Cubs right-hander Scott Baker appears to be settling in.
Taking the mound for the Kane County Cougars Friday against visiting Beloit, the 31-year-old recovered from a slow start to hurl four innings in a 5-2 victory. He threw 59 pitches — 37 for strikes — and allowed one run on four hits while walking two and striking out three in a no-decision. It was the first time he’s reached at least four innings in his comeback attempt.
“I felt like I started a little lethargic but picked it up as the night went on,” Baker said. “This has been a process that has taken longer than anticipated, but as long as I feel like we are making progress and moving forward it’s hard to complain.”
Baker allowed a single to Ryan Mathews to lead off the game before walking Daniel Robertson. He worked out of the jam without any damage, but fell behind 1-0 when Matt Olson led off the second inning with a solo homer to left-center.
He allowed just two singles over the next three innings and finished his night by striking out Nick Rickles with an 88-mph fastball, which was his fastest pitch of the outing.
“Sometimes something like [Olson’s home run] kind of wakes you up,” Baker said. “At that point it was just throw it and trust it, keep it down and let the good movement and action take care of things.”
In his last three starts, Baker has given up three runs on 10 hits in 101/3 innings. With the minor-league seasons coming to a close, he hopes to get the chance to pitch at the big-league level before the end of the year.
“Ultimately it’s up to [Cubs management],” Baker said. “We’ll have to see. I need to just plug along and trust the process and see where we end up.”
In 163 career games — all with the Minnesota Twins — Baker owns a 63-48 record with a 4.15 ERA and 770 strikeouts.