Good to see Mark Prior back on track for the majors.
And glad we’re not talking about the towel drill!
Prior joins Triple-A Oklahoma City, a Rangers affiliate, this weekend.
The 30-year-old envisions his comeback as a reliever, not a starter.
The obvious health questions aside, Prior has a tough road to reach the Rangers’ bullpen. Texas relievers lead the AL in wins (25), are second in strikeouts and have posted a 1.80 ERA since August 19.
There are also two sure-fire prospects blocking Prior’s chances. Left-handers Michael Kirkman, who was named the Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Year this week, and Derek Holland, who went 6-2 with a 1.87 ERA for Oklahoma City before his recent call-up to Arlington.
However, a strong showing for Prior in Triple-A could earn a late September call-up. And although he would not be eligible for postseason play, an invite to spring training 2011 could put Prior back in the majors before we know it.
Prior spent one month this season pitching for the Orange County Flyers of the Golden Baseball League. In nine releif appearances Prior allowed just one unearned run, striking out 22 of 44 baters faced.
Andres Blanco is making a go of it with Texas this year.
Since being acquired by the Rangers in March, the 26-year-old made his first Opening Day roster and has filled in primarily as a utility infielder for the first place Rangers.
Blanco’s biggest contribution is his glove. He’s shown terrific range up the middle despite committing 6 errors in 30 games started at three different positions: 2B, 3B & SS.
It’s his lack of offense, however, that continues to hamper his opportunity to become an everyday starter. Through 48 games he’s batting .238 with eight runs scored and six RBI.
The Cubs had little choice but to move Blanco this spring. Not only was he out of minor league options, but he also faced the much anticipated debut of Starlin Castro.
The move made sense at the time, but given the Cubs’ current state, a starting lineup filled with big league prospects, it would’ve been interesting to watch Blanco in a starting role during the final two months on the North Side.
To that, however, we’ll never know.
Twelve starts without a trip to the DL counts as a win for former Cub Rich Harden. But that’s all the right-hander has going for him this season in Texas.
He’s on the brink of being removed from the rotation having lasted six or more innings just twice while allowing 59 hits in 59 innings pitched, and posting an inflated 5.34 ERA. During his last outing Sunday, Harden threw 111 pitches through five innings–all too typical for the 28-year-old–in taking the loss against Tampa Bay.
If the guy pitched with any efficiency he’d consistently be a 15-game winner. But until a team pays him for what he is–a No. 5 starter–instead of what he could be–a staff ace–Harden seems to have no problem pitching five innings for $7.5M dollars.
Here’s what’s laughable about the recent A-Roid news.
ESPN’s Outside the Lines ran an interview Sunday with a former Rangers trainer who says during Spring Training 2003 he warned then Rangers GM John Hart that Roidriguez was showing signs of PED use.
Hart says he has no recollection of this conversation. Remarkable isn’t it!
So, let’s get this straight: team trainer tells GM that his star player – and one of the game’s brightest stars – is using PEDS…and the GM can’t remember such a conversation.
For me it’s beyond comprehension just how stupid some of baseball’s players and front office personnel believe the fans are.
There’s no better example of this than Roger Clemens continuous denial of using HGH and steroids.
Apparently we’re all jock-sniffing clowns with no grasp of the outside world.
Seriously, who do these guys think they’re fooling!!!
And what is it the guilty parties believe they gain from hiding the truth?
Plus, I have to believe the A-Rod news put a smile on Joe Torre’s face wider than the Brooklyn bridge.
New York ran Torre over the coals after his book release saying the former Yankee skipper broke the locker room code of keeping personal matters in house.
The thing is, Torre won’t lose any respect for telling the truth in his book, which, was only strengthened with the discovery of A-Roid.