Sent all the way down to Single-A at age 30 to continue his comeback as a reliever, Mark Prior pitched in back-to-back games over the weekend and threw a pair of scoreless innings.
Prior told the Associated Press afterward that his arm “feels fine” and his fastball reportedly averaged 90 miles per hour.
He can opt out of his minor-league contract with the Yankees by mid-June if he’s not in the majors, but as always with Prior staying healthy between now and then will be every bit as important as his actual performance.
Presumably if he continues to pitch well and stay injury free at Single-A the Yankees will move him up the minor-league ladder to test Prior against some hitters who aren’t a decade his junior.
Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.
Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.
The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.