Baker turned in another gem on Thursday. He threw 7 1/3 innings of shutout baseball as the Twins beat the poor Dodgers 1-0, a nice birthday present to Nathan Johnson. With this performance, Baker lowered his season ERA to 3.15. The reason? His command of his pitches has been so much better. Remember when Baker was throwing meat balls right down the middle of the plate last year? Yeah he is not doing that anymore.
The interesting part of this for me is: does this make Liriano expendable? I think the answer to that question is yes but it's tough to tell if the Twins believe that. They love Liriano, but he doesn't really pitch like how they like their pitchers to pitch. The Twins want guys who pound the strike zone and don't walk anyone. Liriano's command has been really shaky ever since Tommy John surgery.
I hope they don't trade Liriano, but with Baker looking like an ace it becomes a distinct possibility. With the Twins falling out of contention, it looks more and more likely that they'll trade some veterans. Liriano is going to be a free agent next year, as is Cuddyer which means those two would be the most likely to go. Others who could go are: Thome, Kubel, and Young