Mark Prior trying to pitch his way onto the opening day roster

Tomorrow, I’ll be interviewing Will Carroll as part of the podcast. If you haven’t yet subscribed to the show, here is a link to the RSS Feed and to iTunes. As part of the interview, which will focus on injuries, I’ll be sure to ask him about his thoughts on Mark Prior and Kerry Wood. Hopefully he’ll have good news for us. Until then, here is the basic update on the tandem.

Kerry Wood
He apparently feels like he’ll be ready to go for opening day. The Sun Times had the headline that read “Wood, Piniella not on same page”. The first paragraph made me laugh ‘Kerry Wood says he’ll be ready to start the season on time. Cubs manager Lou Piniella says he doesn’t plan to push Wood that fast. And a battle of wills could be more of an issue than Wood’s health when the roster is set. Don’t count on Wood winning that matchup.

I love the fact that Lou Piniella is not afraid to deal with egos. He puts people in their place and let’s them know how it’s going to be. Personally, I agree with Lou on this one. I am just as excited about having Wood in that bullpen as anyone else, but what need is there to rush it and risk being done for the season. Get your work in and get back to 100% and then make your case.

Mark Prior
Uncle Lou does appear to be leaning toward Prior’s corner a little more than he did in the past. He had pretty much decided earlier in the spring to send him to the minor league camp to get his work in and confidence up. Since then, Prior has responded by working hard to try to impress Piniella. That hard work has earned him a few more big league camp starts. He’ll take Zambrano’s spot on Wednesday against the Rockies. Zambrano will pitch for the minor league camp in their game. I can only imagine what his line will be there. He may throw a no hitter.

Regardless of what Zambrano does, Prior’s start is key because it’s 5th starter spot or bust for Prior. When asked about the idea of starting Prior in the pen, Piniella said it was “unthinkable”.

Good luck Mark and Kerry. We all want you healthy, but don’t stress so much.

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids and helps people protect their assets as an independent insurance agent. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail