MINNEAPOLIS Beforethe anesthesia kicked in, Scott Baker didn't know what he was about to endure.
Baker, Minnesota's best starting pitcher in 2011, went to see Dr. David Altchek in New York earlier this month to have his flexor pronator tendon in his right elbow repaired. But when Baker woke up from surgery, he had a new ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow, thanks to Tommy John surgery.
Baker said Dr. Altchek told him there was a 20 percent chance that the UCL would need to be replaced. It wasn't until doctors opened up Baker's elbow that the extent of the damage was truly known.
"I knew there was a chance, but I guess you never think about it. I guess you think you're never that guy to have Tommy John until you have it," Baker said Friday, the first time he addressed the media since having the surgery. "There was no definitive tearing or detachment 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. A...