Baker out of lineup

Smacked on the side of the face by Albert Pujols’ bat on Tuesday night, catcher John Baker was not in the Marlins lineup on Wednesday against the Cardinals.

The left side of Baker’s face, around his left eye, is swollen. He has a bandage covering six stitches, will stay in for about 10 days.

Ronny Paulino was in the starting lineup on Wednesday, and he likely will be again on Thursday in the series finale with St. Louis.

The earliest Baker is expected back is Friday at Toronto.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez said he will try to stay away from using Baker on Wednesday and Thursday, but in case of an emergency, he would play.

Wes Helms is the emergency third catcher.

In the sixth inning on Wednesday, Baker was smacked on the left side of his mask on Pujols’ long follow-through swing.

He immediately went down hard, and was bleeding. Pujols has expressed his remorse to the Marlins’ catcher.

Baker has been wearing a mask over his helmet. He finds that the most comfortable. But if he does play in the next few days, he has a helmet mask that is similar to a hockey mask, or a mask that Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina wears.

— Joe Frisaro


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