Mark Prior on the road back to the bigs via indy ball

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Mark Prior made his debut for the Orange County Flyers of the independent Golden Baseball League last week and also got a quick profile in the Los Angeles Times.

Prior is still only 29 years of age, which seems incredible, and his fastball has been clocked in the 90s.  Sure, it’s doubtful that he will ever resurface in the major leagues, but it’s not completely out of the question.  Prior feels like he still has some life left in his arm and that he wasn’t given a fair shot at a comeback.

“It’s not the problem of reinventing myself,” Prior told the LA Times. “I never got over the first hump.”

The right-hander went 18-6 with a 2.43 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 245 strikeouts in 211.1 innings back in 2003 for the Cubs.  He threw his last major league pitch in 2006 and finished that season with a 7.21 ERA and 1.69 WHIP over 43.2 total frames.

Prior has thrown one inning for the Flyers.  He didn’t allow a hit or a run and struck out one batter.

The Angels were the first team to use up all of their mound visits

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Last night’s Angels-Astros game was a long affair with a bunch of homers and the use of 11 pitchers in all. The Angels used six pitchers and all of that business led to plenty of conferences. Six, in fact, which is their allotment under the new rule capping mound visits. As far as I can tell, that makes the Angels the first team to use up all of their mound visits since the advent of the rule.

Sadly, they did not try to go for a seventh, thereby testing the currently unknown limits of the rule. Umpires have been instructed to not allow additional mound visits, but they cannot issue balls or tackle anyone or anything to enforce it. Presumably, if Maldonado had walked out to talk to Cam Bedrosian about the weather or where he was going to dinner after the game, the home plate umpire would’ve simply done the old Robin Williams English policeman’s bit of yelling “Stop! . . . or I shall yell ‘Stop!’ again!” Maybe a fine would issue later, but we’ll never know.

At least until someone breaks the limit. And we know someone will, right? We should have a betting pool on who does it.