The last time Mark Prior took the mound in a major league game, it was August 10th, 2006 against the Milwaukee Brewers. He lasted just three innings that day as he gave up four hits, five walks, and four earned runs.
Since that day and a lot of shoulder issues later, Prior has done everything he could to possibly pitch on a major league again. He even pitched in the independent Golden Baseball League to prove he could still pitch in the majors.
Now after Friday, Prior is one step closer to pitching on a major league mound again.
The Texas Rangers signed the 29-year-old Prior to a minor league contract yesterday. He will report to Triple-A today.
While Prior was a starter many moons ago, he is now trying to make it as a reliever. While playing for the Orange County Flyers of the before mentioned Golden Baseball League, Prior had a 0.00 ERA with 22 K’s, five hits, and five walks in 11 IP—all in relief.
It will be very interesting to see if Prior has anything left. It’s hard to judge his accomplishments for the Flyers because the independent leagues are nothing to write home about. As someone who has sat through a Long Island Ducks and Newark Bears game, the talent level at that level is a cross between Double-A and Triple-A.
Regardless of whether or not Prior succeeds, I think his comeback is a testament to his love of the game. To go through the amount of injuries he has and still want to pitch is pretty amazing.
By the way, did you know that Prior’s teammate in Orange County was Byung-Hyun Kim? The last time we saw Kim was in 2007 with the Florida Marlins. Of course Kim’s career officially ended in 2001 when the New York Yankees ripped his heart out twice in the World Series.
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