PRIOR: TIME’S RUNNING OUT
Interesting read from Yahoo! Sports about Mark Prior’s struggles to get back on a big league mound, and what may have caused his injuries.
The column is filled with different theories/reasons for his injuries. The standout to me is this:
“The universal consensus is that Cubs manager Dusty Baker abused Prior at the end of the 2003 season simply because he knew no better. In Prior’s last nine games, including three in the playoffs, he logged the following pitch counts: 131, 129, 109, 124, 131, 133, 132, 115, 119. House believes the overuse by Baker doomed Prior. 8 pitchers this decade have thrown 109 or more pitches in nine straight games, and half of them needed reconstructive arm surgery. The only other pitchers this decade to throw at least four 130-plus-pitch games in a season, let alone in two months, are Livan Hernandez and Randy Johnson.”
I think one of my biggest regrets as a fan is that I did not get to see Prior become the next Tom Seaver. That 2003 season was simply electric, and we all looked forward to great things beyond that year.
It looked like he was truly on his way back in 2005, then 2006 it all fell apart. He hasn’t pitched in a big league game since then. And he has no idea when he might again. While everyone else is on a schedule in Padres camp, Prior is on his own.
The column finishes up: “He knows time is running out. This is Prior’s last chance. He re-signed with San Diego on a minor-league contract. Unless he returns, he will be just another shoulda-been, a sad reminder that not even modern medicine can save some pitchers.”