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August 2009

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Padres release Prior

Written by , Posted in General

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.

  • MJ

    NO. Brenley said, if the Cubs weren’t in the midst of a division race, you send him down to work on his stuff. But because they are in the race, they cannot afford to send Marmol down.

    It amazes me how people hear what they want to hear.

  • cap’n obvious

    Couple things…#1. Prior is an example of how it can go bad when you use/overuse performance enhancers. Muscles can outgrow tendons, and big damage can be done. #2. Big ups to Bradley for getting that bunt down late last night. I really would love to see him moved to the #2 hole like Dave said earlier this week, to take advantage of his switch hitting and good eye.

  • Doug

    I cannot remember being as upset as I was yesterday in the bottom of the 9th. ….and thank you DL for hitting the winning HR……….but ……are there on-line anger management classes for Cubs fans?

  • Doc Raker

    Prior should come clean about how he became a phenom at USC and with the Cubs, I agree with the capn on the PED’s. I will bet the capn’s bottom dollar that Prior was a juicer and his body broke down because of it. 23 year olds don’t have achiles tendonitis unless their calf is 4 times it’s normal size.

    Contemptuous? How about fradualent? It was always an offseason of ‘I will be ready for spring training’ pay me big. Then once a contract was in place the backpedaling began. He’s a few weeks behind, mid April, June 1, by the all star break.

    Give me a break. $10M signing bonus, another how many million in salary’s. Gregg Prior, he should come clean and help the game and the youth of the game by telling the truth. He knew he was done years ago but played the rehab game for any fool willing to pay him.

  • Seymour Butts

    I’ll avoid name dropping, but I’ve mentioned that I’ve been to Cubs fantasy camps more than a couple of times. I asked a couple of ’84 Cubs who are still in baseball what the deal with Prior was. The answer is that he lacked toughness. He was contrasted to Wood who would pitch more than he should have when feeling poorly. Prior opted out with minor issues. He became jetsam because he had no heart. Kind of different than his intense countenance that we see on TV.
    Marmol should go down now BECAUSE we are in a race. He’s not helping, and might get his head on straight with a week or so in Iowa.
    Gregg Gregg. I’m never going to be comfortable with that piece of Gregg.

  • When one knows his performance is fraudulent I think one would be more apt to step back vs step up when small hurdles are in ones way. I can believe he lacked toughness and true confidence.

  • Prior opted out with minor issues.

    Except, of course, that we all found out later that they were not minor issues at all, and that he had and has major problems with his shoulder.

  • Except, of course, that we all found out later that they were not minor issues at all, and that he had and has major problems with his shoulder.

    What did we find out Dave? By memory Prior’s shoulder surgery was exploratory and found no serious damage. He lost velocity on his fastball because he wasn’t on the juice. The ‘injury’ was overstated to save face.

  • By memory Prior’s shoulder surgery was exploratory and found no serious damage.

    I guess it depends on what “serious damage” means.

    Damage:

    According to a team statement, Andrews performed a debridement of Prior’s rotator cuff and repaired labral and capsular injuries in the shoulder.

    More damage:

    Prior, who is a San Diego native, was trying to return to the Major Leagues after the two surgeries to his right shoulder, the first in 2007 by renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews to repair a 180-degree tear of his labrum as well as a split of the shoulder capsule.

    Then, on the heels of a year-long recovery and rehabilitation program, Prior suffered a serious setback when he tore the anterior capsule in his shoulder, a gruesome injury of sorts that saw the capsule tear away from the humerus bone. He had surgery last June.

    Doctors informed Prior that such injuries were not only uncommon among pitchers, but went as far to add that this particular injury is “often associated with traumatic events … typically from a fall.”

    Many thought that the damage repaired in the second surgery was present during the first surgery, but was missed. Many also think that the damage found in the second surgery may have been connected to Prior’s collision with Marcus Giles.

    Whether or not that was true is unknown, but it is pretty clear that there was actual and real damage in Prior’s shoulder.

    But Prior was never really the same pitcher after that collision.