FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Twins right-hander Scott Baker played long toss on Thursday morning and reported no soreness in his lat muscle. "There is nothing there right now," Baker said after his throwing session. "But they want to make sure that it's completely out of there." Baker was scheduled to start Thursday in a game against the Orioles in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., but he was scratched after feeling some discomfort in the back muscle during his last start on Saturday against the Pirates. It was the second straight start Baker had experienced stiffness in the muscle.
The Twins had hoped to have Baker pitch in a Minor League game this weekend, but on Wednesday the Twins announced that Baker's schedule had been pushed back yet again. Pitching coach Rick Anderson's plan for the pitcher was to have at least two days of long toss before moving forward in his progress. "Once you get on the mound, that's the true test," Baker said. "Even before I irritated it again, when I was playing toss and catch it was fine." Baker's next game action isn't expected to come until the middle of next week, when he likely will start a Minor League contest, and that's barring any setbacks. Still, Baker said on Thursday that he expects to be ready for the start of the season. "The way it's recovering, I feel good about it," Baker said. "It's getting better every day and that's all you can ask for."
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.