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Buzz: X-rays OK, Baker looks to play Friday

4/25/2013

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Fortunately for the Texas Rangers, utility man Jeff Baker appears to have averted major injury.

X-rays on Baker's swollen right knee came back negative on Wednesday and, though he wasn't in the lineup for the series finale against Los Angeles Angels rookie left-hander Michael Roth, Rangers manager Ron Washington said he expects Baker to be available for the upcoming series at the Minnesota Twins.

"He'll probably play the field somewhere and let one of those regular guys have a day in the DH spot to get them off their feet," Washington said. "He'll more likely be in the infield than outfield."

Baker crashed into the wall after making a sliding catch in the first inning of Tuesday's 5-4 loss and was removed from the game.

"When I hit the wall it kind of shocked me a little bit," Baker said. "I know there's padding down there, but when I looked at the replay, I was wondering why it hurt so bad and why it swelled up so quick. I got the little spot just beneath the padding where it's concrete.”

“I was a little concerned, to be honest, but it's just a bruise,” he said. “I have some swelling in there in the joint line that we're working hard to get out. I was fortunate."

Baker hoped to be ready for Friday's matchup against Twins left-hander Scott Diamond. The Rangers also are slated to face left-hander Pedro Hernandez on Saturday afternoon in Minneapolis. Baker is a lifetime .297 hitter against southpaws.

"I'm always going to play the game hard," Baker said. "Unfortunately, [injuries] come with the territory. Going out there and playing hard, sometimes stuff happens. As soon as I'm ready to go, I'll go back in there to grind it out."

When informed that his acrobatic catch had cracked the Top 10 Plays on "SportsCenter," Baker smirked.

"No wonder my phone was blowing up," he said. "That's cool, I guess, but I would have rather stayed in the game."

First start for Roth

--Roth, set to make his first career start, pitched in relief against Texas on Monday but faced only one batter, Lance Berkman, who singled.

"I got what our scouts that have seen him think of him, so it's all we have," Washington said. "He's the newcomer. We know nothing about him.

“Just try to go off the velocity they give us. Hopefully we can get him to make some mistakes and take advantage of it.”