Baseball Notebook

Daily Baseball Blog

Mark Prior Washed Up At 28

A familar scene for Mark Prior during his major league career.

A familar scene for Mark Prior during his major league career.

There never has been any doubt about Mark Prior being one of the best pitchers in baseball from his college days till his 18-6 season for the Cubs in 2003.

Prior had an amazing 15-1 record with a 1.70 ERA for USC in his last year in college. In addition he struck out 202 and walked 18 in 138 innings that year.

MLB.com had an article on Saturday revealing that Prior has been released by the Padres.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090801&content_id=6184978&vkey=news_sd&fext=.jsp&c_id=sd&partnerId=rss_sd

Prior has not made a pitch in a major league or minor league game since 2006 according to baseball-reference.com.

When he was on the mound Prior was one of the best pitchers in baseball. Only problem was he wasn’t on the mound that often.

The Chicago Cubs had two of the best pitchers in the majors in Prior and Kerry Wood but both of them were injury plagued and were seldom on the mound.

Prior is only 28 and unless another team signs him to a contract he has pitched his last professional baseball game on August 10, 2006 in Milwaukee and took the loss in a 8-6 win by the Brewers. He was 25 at the time he made his last pitch.

He started 49 games over his first two seasons with the Cubs in 2002 and 2003. In the following three seasons he would start only 57 more games combined.

Prior was a dominating pitcher who usually struck out more than 10 batters per nine innings. His last season of 2006 was the only season in which he didn’t pitch well when had a 1-6 record and a 7.21 ERA.

That season he struck out 38 and walked 28 in 43 innings. It was a sad ending to his career unless a miracle happens and he pitches again. It is sad to think he may be washed up at 28 but more than likely his baseball career is over.

Cubs fans can’t help but wonder where they would have finished the seasons when Prior and Wood were both out with injuries.

Prior earned $12.8 million during his major league career. There is no telling how much a healthy Prior would have made in today’s market. He probably would be making close to what C.C. Sabathia is being paid.

Someday in the future Prior may surface in the major leagues again but knowing his injury history it is not likely.

It is sad but he may have made his last major league pitch three years ago at the age of 25.

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