Baker hoping trip to hand specialist pays off

ARLINGTON, Texas – The high five gone terribly wrong continues to hamper the Texas Rangers.

Utility man Jeff Baker, who hurt his right thumb during an overzealous high five from a teammate, visited a hand specialist Monday and received a cortisone shot. Baker also has a new splint on the hand.

Baker has been on the disabled list since June 18 with a right thumb sprain. He made enough progress to the point where he tried to take batting practice last Friday. He had to stop though because of the pain.

Baker will have the thumb splinted three to four days and then reassess where he’s at.

“It’s like a sprained ankle,” Baker said. “You want to try and strengthen it and build it up. Then also it’s a pain tolerance. Any time you have a sprain there’s a tear in there so if you keep beating it up, beating it up, beating it up, it’s not going to heal. I tried to push it and progress it and try to get past that threshold. Off the tee and front toss it was fine. Then in BP I couldn’t do it.”

Baker was hitting .317 with nine home runs and 16 RBI before he got hurt. He was pummeling left-handed pitching, with all eight of his homers coming against lefties as well as a 1.000 slugging percentage.