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Saturday, June 2, 2012

Mark Prior Headed to Pawtucket Red Sox

With Jose Iglesias hitting the 7 day minor league disabled list with a sore back, the Red Sox have decided to promote 31 year old Mark Prior to Triple-A Pawtucket.

Boston signed Prior to a minor league deal exactly one month ago on May 2 and the 2001 second overall pick has been pitching out of the bullpen in extended spring training games since then.
Last season, while in the Yankees minor league system, Prior pitched to a 2.25 ERA in 12 innings before suffering an arm injury, something that has sucked the life out of his career on multiple occasions.

In 2003, while with the Chicago Cubs, he posted an 18-6 record with a 2.43 ERA to earn third place in the National League Cy Young voting. All the potential in the world was flushed away by a shoulder injury among other things.

The signing for the Red Sox represents a continuation of the trend adopted by Ben Cherington in the offseason. The first year GM went out on a limb opting to pull pitchers off the scrap heap rather than go for a big fish, something the Yankees had success with in 2011.

Some worked out (see Vicente Padilla) some are still in the works (see Aaron Cook) and others just didn't pan out (Carlos Silva among others) for the Red Sox.

Whether Mark Prior represents depth or a viable major league option remains to be seen, but it's an intriguing story if the righty can stay healthy and log some quality innings out of the 'pen.

At the age of 31, Prior missed out on his prime years for the most part but he's still relatively young in baseball terms. It won't be a question of talent, he clearly has that, it will be a matter of staying healthy for a full season.

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