Cubs have no need for Baker to rush rehab

Cubs have no need for Baker to rush rehab

Cubs have no need for Baker to rush rehab

CHICAGO -- Scott Baker can take his time rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. The Cubs had hoped the right-hander would be a part of their starting rotation this year, but there isn't as much of a need as last season when they were scrambling to find starters.

In his fourth rehab start on Monday, Baker gave up two runs, one earned, on three hits and two walks over 3 1/3 innings for Class A Daytona against Fort Myers. Baker threw 65 pitches, struck out two and served up a solo home run to Matt Koch in the fourth.

In three previous rehab outings with Class A Kane County, Baker was charged with 13 runs on 17 hits and six walks over 8 2/3 innings.

Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Tuesday that Baker's velocity was a little better in Monday's outing.

"Sixty-five pitches in 3 1/3 innings, that's 20 pitches per inning again," Sveum said. "He's still not getting quick outs and what you want done in a 65-pitch outing."

The Cubs have dealt two-fifths of their rotation -- Matt Garza and Scott Feldman -- but were better prepared this season to fill the gaps, inserting Carlos Villanueva and promoting lefty Chris Rusin. Jake Arrieta, acquired from the Orioles in the Feldman deal, will start the second game of the Cubs' doubleheader on Tuesday.

"We're not too concerned [about Baker], because right now, we don't have a need right now, and we're OK with everything," Sveum said. "It's just kind of a slow development for him right now. We don't have a big need right now for a starting pitcher and we're OK with things progressing at a slow rate."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.