Injuries Help To Clear Up the Minnesota Twins' Bullpen Issues

Dan WadeSenior Analyst IApril 2, 2009

ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 21:  Scott Baker #30 of the Minnesota Twins pitches against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angels Stadium on August 21, 2008 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)

In a move that caught nearly everyone by surprise, Scott Baker joined Boof Bonser and Joe Mauer on the 15-day disabled list today.

Mauer was expected to be moved, so there's no surprise there, but both Baker and Bonser were out of the ordinary.

Bonser is expected to miss the vast majority of the season, which would seem to make moving him to the 60-day DL a better plan. However, the Twins may be keeping him on the 40-man roster such that, if an emergency call-up of someone not already on the 40-man roster needed to be made, they can move him off.

According to reports, Scott Baker felt pain in his right shoulder and the team wanted to make sure a small problem now didn't mean an extended stay on the DL in May or June. Still, because Baker last pitched in an official spring training game last Friday, he'll be eligible to come off the DL on April 12.

What Baker's absence means in the immediate future, however, is that the bullpen is set. For at least the next 15 days, everyone makes the team; Philip Humber, R.A. Dickey, and Brian Duensing will all come north with the Twins.

Humber and Duensing will both come out of the bullpen, but Dickey may be slotted into the starting rotation until Baker is back for sure.

In reality, this doesn't change much for the Twins. Baker's injury isn't considered serious, and he should be back as soon as it looks safe to do so. He'll likely miss one start, two at the most, which doesn't give the Twins much more time than they've already had to decided between Humber and Dickey.