Today MLB.com has reported that the Padres are soon to cut ties with former Cub Mark Prior; the article details the extent of the injuries that have likely ended this once-promising pitcher’s career.
On the one hand I’m sad to see this – Prior put up good numbers while playing for the Cubs. In 106 games Mark pitched 657 innings, struck out 767, walked 223 and held opposing batters to a 1.225 WHIP. In other words he generally went deep into his starts, threw a lot of strikes and had a controlling influence on the games he pitched. I had very high hopes for Prior as he looked like he was going to become a dominant pitcher in the National League.
On the other hand I do not miss his somewhat contemptuous attitude toward the Cubs and the fans – reporters didn’t like dealing with this guy and he gave most of us the impression that he was just some kind of employee who was punching a clock. He also snubbed my alma mater (Vanderbilt) where he started his college pitching career by transferring to USC; since that time the Trojans have not proven to be a significant program in the top echelons of college baseball. Vandy on the other hand has had four players chosen in the top ten picks in the last three drafts.
Best of luck to Prior and particularly his family; I wish them the best of success in his business career beyond baseball.
Postscript: I’d like to see another top Cubs prospect (Jeff Samardzija) demoted immediately to AAA Iowa. This guy is not major league-ready at this stage of his career; either he doesn’t have it or (more likely) he needs more training at the minor league level. Although Jeff does not project as highly as Prior did we’re not doing this guy any favor using him as a punching bag at the major league level. Send him back to Iowa where his performance indicates he should be; if he can’t figure it out by next year let’s cut our losses and let him go. I think he can make the cut, he’s just not ready now.
I’m also getting very tired of Carlos Marmol’s little dog and pony show. What’s wrong with this guy? We don’t have time to find out at the major league level – send this guy down, he’s really hurting the team. Brenly pointed this out in the eighth and he spoke the truth. Let him prove his worth at the AAA team and when he’s ready again we can bring him up.