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Just getting it out of the way, Scott Baker was signed for a reason. It’s nice to think he’ll start in AAA and be a “break in case of emergency” type player. To catch you up on things, because of Hyun-Jin Ryu’s injury, the Dodgers will need a 5th starter when they play the Mariners on April 14th and the way that the Dodgers have him lined him up, Scott Baker is definitely going to be on the mound against the Mariners.
For the longest time, it was assumed that Joe Wieland or Mike Bolsinger would assume the mantle of emergency 5th starter, but the way the rules work, a player who is optioned down to the minors (time started April 6th) must spend 10 days in the minor leagues, so neither pitcher are options for the 5th spot until at least April 6th.
Baker, you know is an okay pitcher nowadays. He once was really productive, putting up a 3.98 ERA/ 3.86 FIP split from 2007-2011 in Minnesota, which is an above average regular type talent, only problem is that he broke and was never the same. He’s pitched in 95.2 innings since his tommy john surgery in 2012, striking out more than a batter and a half fewer than before his surgery and giving up 1.67 home runs per 9 innings. However maybe he’s fully back from his surgery, his performance tonight was really solid
Considering that the only real possibility for the April 14th start that is already on the team is Juan Nicasio, Baker will be added to the 40 man roster at some point next week (probably at the expense of newly acquired Ryan Webb or Darwin Barney), and that might not be a terrible thing.
The Dodgers really just need someone better than Red Patterson for that spot start, anything more is a bonus. Hyun-Jin Ryu’s injury has put the Dodgers in a precarious spot, but we always knew that somebody was going to get injured, if someone is needed for 10-15 starts, Baker probably won’t be in the rotation for an extended period of time, but for a start or two, he’s depth with a previous track record for success.