One of the cogs of the Marlins' lineup was supposed to be catcher John Baker of Moneyball fame who finally started putting together a solid major-league career as a 27-year-old rookie.
From 2008-09, Baker hit .281/.364/.423 in 656 plate appearances while sharing time with Ronny Paulino.
In early May, Baker suffered an injury to his right elbow that he has been trying to rehabilitate since, with numerous setbacks along the way. The Marlins put Paulino in full-time duty where he predictably struggled, and then Paulino was hit with a 50-game suspension for violating baseball's drug program.
That leaves the catching duties to Brett Hayes and Brad Davis -- not exactly what Florida was hoping in a season it had its eye on the postseason.
Baker made his first minor-league rehab start Friday, but the elbow did not respond kindly in what was his second setback on a rehab stint, the first coming in June. Now, MLB.com's Joe Frisaro hears that Baker may require surgery after all.
While the type of surgery is not known, it's entirely possible going under the knife would knock Baker out for a portion of the 2011 season, essentially making this whole "rest and rehabilitation" period rather pointless in a desperate attempt to get Baker back on the field.
-- Evan Brunell
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