Friday, August 11, 2006

Scott Baker Fails to Win Gardenhire's Confidence

Despite the fact that AAA Rochester's SP Scott Baker struck out six and held AAA Charlotte, the International League's most offensive team, to just seven hits in 7.33 innings in Baker's most recent outing, the Twins next callup will go to Boof Bonser, who will start in the No. 5 spot Saturday. Baker pitched a nice game for the Red Wings, but manager Ron Gardenhire is concerned that the promising sophomore left too many pitches up in the zone. With Francisco Liriano on the disabled list, and Brad Radke and Carlos Silva bothered with injuries and performance lapses all season, and Kyle Lohse shipped off to Cincinnati, the Twins fourth starter role has gone to Matt Garza, 22, who has impressed with his 14-4 record and 1.99 ERA in three minor league stops. Bonser and Garza have no guarantee to stick, so wait to see whether Baker gets another chance before the end of September. The 25-year-old former second round pick projects as a solid No. 3 or No. 4 starter and innings eater, with an occasional 95-mph fastball to keep hitters respectful of his variety of offspeed pitches. Baker has much more experience than any of the other pretenders