Missed high-five lands Baker on DL
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers placed utility man Jeff Baker on the 15-day disabled list and optioned first baseman Chris McGuiness to Triple-A Round Rock and recalled reliever Joe Ortiz and catcher Robinson Chirinos.
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Baker, who the Rangers hoped to keep of the DL, goes on with a sprained right thumb, retroactive to June 13. He had been one of the Rangers' hottest hitters, batting .317 with nine home runs and 16 RBIs.
Baker sprained his right thumb last Thursday when a celebratory high-five missed the mark and bent his thumb the wrong way.
"The teammate was a little over-excited, for whatever reason," Baker said last Friday. "It bent my thumb back. It is what it is. It's unfortunate. We'll deal with it and move on."
McGuiness, called up to fill in at first base with starter Mitch Moreland on the DL, batted .176 with one RBI in 34 at-bats. Moreland is currently in the middle of a three-game rehab assignment at Double-A Frisco and should return Friday at St. Louis. Lance Berkman was in the lineup at first base on Tuesday against Oakland.
Chirinos is a catcher who can also play first base. He has three hits in 12 at-bats for the Rangers this season.
Ortiz, a left-hander, started off this season well but was sent to the minors earlier this month. He is 2-1 with a 5.13 ERA.
The Rangers had hoped Baker could avoid a DL stint, but when he told them he didn't think he could be back for this weekend's series at St. Louis, they decided to give him time to heal. Baker received a cortisone shot on Saturday.
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"He can't swing. He can't throw," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We decided this way's best for him and best for us so we put him on the DL."
Baker said he hasn't received an MRI, nor will he get one. He expects to come off the DL when he is eligible on June 28.
"I'm progressing with baby steps," Baker said. "A decision had to be made. I just need to get healthy."
Baker, who still won't name the teammate who caused the injury, was asked if he's frustrated by his bad luck.
"The answer to that is obvious," Baker said. "It's out of your control. It's definitely a situation where the teammate, he feels terrible about it."
Todd Wills is a regular contributor to ESPNDallas.com. Information from ESPNDallas.com contributor Randy Jennings was used in this report.