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.
We learned on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu won one of the final two spots in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Brandon McCarthy has won the other, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports. Alex Wood was McCarthy’s competitor for the spot.
McCarthy, 33, posted a 4.85 ERA across four appearances spanning 13 innings this spring, yielding seven earned runs on 14 hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Wood, a southpaw, gave up five earned runs in six innings against the Reds on Tuesday, which might have factored into the decision.
Last season, McCarthy made nine starts and one relief appearance, posting a 4.95 ERA with a 44/26 K/BB ratio in 40 innings. In the event McCarthy falters, the club has Wood as well as Julio Urias and the injured Scott Kazmir as potential replacements.
The Yankees have re-signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Niese was released on Sunday, but he’ll stick around and provide rotation depth for the Yankees.
Niese had knee surgery last August and got a late start to spring training as a result. In six spring appearances lasting an inning each, the lefty gave up three earned runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.
Niese, a veteran of nine seasons, put up an aggregate 5.50 ERA with an 88/47 K/BB ratio in 121 innings last season between the Pirates and Mets.