There are two players that the Minnesota Twins and their fans can't wait to see play in meaningful games. Those players are Joe Mauer and Scott Baker, players that are considered the team's ace and best hitter, respectively.
In recent days, the news on both players has gotten better. Scott Baker on Friday night started for the Fort Myers Miracle, and assuming he feels okay in the next day or so, is expected to return to the rotation when the team returns to Minnesota next week.
In his outing, Baker lasted seven innings, allowing five hits and one earned run. There is no official pitch count, but it is believed that he lasted somewhere close to 90 pitches.
The return of Baker will be welcomed, even though his replacement, R.A. Dickey was somewhat effective in his place. His return will give the Twins a top-of-the-rotation pitcher, and allow Dickey and his knuckle ball to be used out of the 'pen.
As for Joe Mauer, he is slowly making progress...though he is still likely a week or so away from returning to the majors. Mauer took batting practice with the Miracle days ago and is soon expected to start running—a step that is believed to be the final hurdle.
Upon a return to running, Mauer will take part in several minor league games before heading back to the three-spot in the Twins' lineup.
The Twins are currently managing without two of their top players, but there is no doubt they'll be very happy to add them to the rotation and lineup.