Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 4/28/12

Minnesota Twins RHP Scott Baker spoke to reporters Friday for the first time since having the ulnar

collateral ligament in his right elbow surgically repaired. Though not happy to be out for

nine-to-12 months, he felt he has finally fixed the right elbow that has been bothering

him for the past two years.

"I knew I wasn't crazy," he said.

Baker, 30, had been pitching with pain in the elbow for some time, shelved twice in

each of the past two seasons. He went 8-6 with a career-best 3.14 earned-run average in

2011 but didn't make a start after Aug. 8. This spring, he made only two starts on the

major league side and was never able to find his velocity.

"I know there was some speculation that maybe I was babying it or taking it easy," he

said. "But good grief, I did everything I possibly could to get better and to try to pitch

with it. But that just wasn't going to happen."

Before the operation, Baker gave orthopedic surgeon David Altchek permission to fix the

ligament if necessary.

"There was no definitive tearing or detachment," Baker explained, "but he said what he

performed was called 'a pickup.' Basically you pick up a pair of tweezers and see how

loose the ligament is, and he said it was a black-and-white issue to him that the ligament

was too loose. It was not a good ligament."

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