No surprise there, Prior didn’t pitch at a major league-caliber level this spring. And today was no exception – Mark threw two wild pitches, gave up two hits and walked two in three innings. Also sent down to Iowa were Rocky Cherry and Angel Pagan; Prior presently sports a 6.91 ERA which ain’t gonna cut it at the major league level.
I like this move for two reasons. First of all, if Prior does still have some gas left in the tank it will give him time to really work on his pitching and get his velocity up to an acceptable level. Thusfar Mark Prior’s career has been a downward spiral and if he can’t cut it at Principal Park he’s probably going to end up getting traded.
Secondly this is the “tough love” that has up till now been missing in his relationship with the Cubs. Prior has been mommy-coddled for years, treated like the young superstar that just needs a little more time. Now time has run out and Prior is being treated like any other player, he has to earn his way on to the roster and he sure as heck hasn’t. It remains to be seen as to whether or not Prior will return to the Friendly Confines as an impact player, I for one am not holding my breath. Rather, I’m looking forward to Rocky Cherry’s call-up, he showed much better stuff this spring than Prior did.
In other news, Cubs outfielders showed their fannies defensively today. Floyd totally showed his defensive incompetence with two errors. This guy is a pinch-hitter and occasional sub at best and needs to accept his role. Soriano also had an error and should have caught another ball that dropped. The Cubs outfield as presently constituted will be very different than the one that ends the season.
Also, congratulations to former Cub Nomar Garciaparra and his wife on the birth of twin girls.