At least Mark is dealing with his recent demotion with all the grace that could be expected of a guy in his situation. And by 'his situation' I mean, 26 years old, former All-Star, won 18 games in 2003 and struck out 245 with an ERA of 2.43. That was almost four years ago. And now, he is a proud member of the AAA-Iowa Cubs. Actually, he's not technically on the roster, because he has yet to 'return' from another injury. I'm not sure how, during spring training, he was being considered for the fifth spot in the rotation.
Prior doesn't seem to have an acute injury. He simply has one, very chronic, shoulder injury. His velocity in the spring was in the mid-80's. For a guy that relied largely on a lights-out fastball, mid-80's is pretty awful. I find it absolutely ludicrous that, with millions of dollars at stake, not to mention his professional reputation, he hasn't found some way to rehab it and strengthen that rotator cuff. There has got to be more to the story. But I don't think we should keep reading his name in reports as, "Prior (shoulder) hasn't made an appearance since..." until we actually have a description of this phantom injury. Or at least something like, 'he visited a specialist, who can't find a problem.' Well, enough speculating. What does Prior have to say about this?
I'm just an employee. The goal now is to go down and help that team win and try to make the AAA All-Star team. Maybe I can get invited to the Futures game or something. I'm still 26. It's part of the business. That's the way I look at it. There's not much I can say. I'm a controlled player. I do what I am told.
Wow. That's seriously depressing. And a major bummer. Here's a former 18-game winner who is aspiring to make the AAA All-Star team, and maybe, maybe, if he gets really lucky, he can even make the Futures game. That's really sick. I do what I am told? It's almost like he's been emotionally beaten into submission by some force within the Cubs organization. Creepy. Also, the previous link was not a mistake.
And you know Rich Hill is going to be a lights out guy someday soon. I meant to write about him about a year ago. I saw him throw a couple years back and the dude had a lights out curve ball. And so I drafted him in the 20th round of my pay league. Dude went for the perfect game against the Brewers, and didn't allow a hit until Corey Hart took him deep in the sixth. He ended up with 6 K's in 7IP. And that HR was the only hit he allowed. Just watch out for the guy.
Kazmir, Cubs, C. Duffy, and College Baseball Lying - May 18th, 2006