Baker's bumps and bruises

As if six stitches near his left eye aren’t enough, Marlins catcher John Baker now has a swollen left knee.

In the eighth inning on Friday night, the battered-and-bruised catcher was plunked squarely on his left knee by a 94 mph Brandon League fastball. The pitch got him when Baker turned to sacrifice bunt.

For the second time since Tuesday, he was on the ground in pain. But he quickly stood up and trotted to first base. The knee began to swell on Friday night, but after ice treatment, the 28-year-old was in the starting lineup on Saturday afternoon.

The Blue Jays are starting left-hander Brian Tallet on Sunday, so Baker likely will get the day off with Ronny Paulino getting the start.

Baker on Tuesday sustained a cut near his eye after being scraped by the bat of Albert Pujols. On a foul ball, Pujols’ follow through smacked into Baker’s mask, pulling it off his face, and opening a gash near his left eye. He’s currently playing with six stitches and a black eye.

Baker is now wearing a hockey style mask for more protection. He had been wearing the old style mask that slides over a helmet.

The biggest adjustment Baker says with the new mask is immediately picking up balls in the air. He hasn’t ruled out continuing to use the hockey-styled helmet once he is completely healed.

– Joe Frisaro

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