Annual Rite of the MLB Season #42

Today, the San Diego Padres as expected placed Mark Prior on the 60-day DL while he rehabs from shoulder surgery. For Prior this is a return to a place he knows best, having been on the DL at some point every year since 2003 and hasn’t pitched a full season since Dusty Baker destroyed his career and future that same year.

I for one hope that he comes back. I’ve always like Prior because his curve ball is sick, his mechanics are flawless and because I drafted him in the first round of a fantasy draft like an idiot in 2004. Also, I drafted him this year in one of my fantasy leagues as my final pick, and think that, if he can be healthy, we could see maybe 8-11 wins and 130 Ks from June forward. Maybe.


Please please please let that be so. It’s always a shame when prospects don’t pan out, but Prior proved he was legit, that he could dominate on the Major League level. He went 18-6 in his first full season and was poised to become a perennial Cy Young candidate. Instead, Dusty decided that his young starter should throw an average of 3,000 pitches per game and he’s never been the same.

Dusty should have to give a portion of his salary every year to both Kerry Wood and Prior as reparations for the millions and millions of dollars he’s cost both of them.

Reportedly, the progress Prior has been making has been phenomenal, apparently he is on an every-fifth day schedule and could face live hitters in batting practice soon. “He had been just spinning ‘em before this, and now he snapped a couple off and it looked pretty good,” pitching coach Darren Balsley said. “He’s right on track —- he’s throwing good.” Let’s hope it keeps up, because frankly, my pitching staff could really use the assist.

And just for laughs, check out this always appropriate story from the Onion that is one of my favorites.

4 Responses to “Annual Rite of the MLB Season #42”

  1. 1 the roomate
    March 27, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    Hmmm… Why would work block The Onion but not Youtube? Sigh. Slanch: please post a video of you reading the article on Youtube so I can fully enjoy this post. Otherwise, its just a huge tease.

  2. 2 slanch
    March 27, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    alas and alack, i am without a video conferencing ability, it will have to wait, then I’ll read it to you and calm you with the dulcet tones of my timbre

  3. March 27, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    It will be a shame if Prior doesn’t make a comeback. He can be a dominant pitcher when he’s healthy. Like you said, the breaking action on his curveball is phenomenal.

    While Dusty Baker does deserve his share of the blame…it was actually Jim Riggleman that was in charge of the Cubbies during the first part of Kerry Wood’s career. He had a spectacular rookies season…but it’s likely that they didn’t give much thought about his health or pitch counts because they were in the middle of a playoff race. His 20 strikeout performance in his only his 5th start was one for the ages…but it was sloppy management in my opinion. Most pitchers that young (20 years old at the time) aren’t allowed to go behind 100 pitches.

  4. 4 slanch
    March 27, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    Sure, Riggleman started Wood down the wrong path, and his injuries the following seasons were directly responsible. But in 2003, Wood had probably his healthiest year and seemed to have turned the corner except Dusty feels that your pitchers throwing 130 pitches every time out is a good call. It’s no longer the 50s, pitchers throw harder, put more strain and burn out faster if they aren’t handled with kid gloves.
    Expect Johnny Cueto to need TJ surgery by august.

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