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.
Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres was born on December 13, 1996. That year, Bartolo Colon (who turns 45 years old on Thursday) was wrapping up a season he spent with Double-A Canton-Akron and Triple-A Buffalo. He would debut in the majors the following April.
In a clash of generations, the 21-year-old Torres and Colon squared off on Monday as the Yankees visited the Rangers. Torres won the battle twice, drilling a two-run home run off of Colon in the second inning and a solo shot off of Colon in the fourth. Colon wound up giving up six runs in total on eight hits (including four homers) and a walk with four strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings.
Here is video of the first homer Torres hit:
Torres is the second-youngest Yankee in club history with a multi-homer game. Mickey Mantle was 20 years and 296 days old when he went yard twice on August 11, 1952. Torres is 21 years, 159 days old. Joe DiMaggio was 21-212 when he hit two on June 24, 1936.
So much for respecting one’s elders. We’re currently seeing a youth movement in baseball. 19-year-old Juan Soto hit his first major league homer on Monday against the Padres. 20-year-olds Ronald Acuña and Mike Soroka debuted for the Braves earlier this year. Could 19-year-old Blue Jays prospect Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. join them soon?