Mark Prior’s latest comeback has brought him to Triple-A for the Red Sox’s affiliate and, so far at least, he’s been healthy and effective.
We’re only talking about three appearances, of course, but Prior has thrown 4.2 innings with a 0.00 ERA and 10 strikeouts.
His velocity, while not where it was before all the injuries, has reportedly been pretty solid facing a handful of hitters per outing as a reliever and despite seemingly being around forever Prior is still just 31 years old.
Prior has reached the point in his career where it doesn’t really make any logical sense to get excited about his performance or optimistic about him getting back to the majors, but … well, 10 strikeouts in 4.2 innings is worth a mention for a guy baseball fans should be rooting for.
Through age 24 he had a 3.24 ERA and 719 strikeouts in 613 innings. That was in 2005. He struggled in 2006, going 1-6 with a 7.21 ERA, and hasn’t throwing a major-league pitch since.
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.