Mark Prior's Comeback Just Manages To Depress Us All Over Again

Prior's going to work out for scouts tomorrow, in the hopes of getting back to the big leagues. It's sad, and unsurprising, and we all wish him luck as we expect him to fail.

As an astute commenter points out, Prior was Strasburg 1.0. For those of you who don't remember the hype (and it was a long time ago; I can't even believe he hasn't pitched since 2006), Prior was a can't-miss prospect who didn't miss. At least for the first couple of seasons.

There are few Baseball Reference profiles more depressing than Prior's. After the largest signing bonus ever for a prospect (until Strasburg came along), he had an abbreviated rookie year full of promise. Then, in 2003, he was if not the best, certainly the most dominant pitcher in the game. That was his first full season. That was his only full season.

Achilles tendon injury. Elbow strain. Fracture in elbow. Strained shoulder. Shoulder tendinitis. Shoulder surgery. Shoulder surgery. For this post, I had my choice of photos of him being helped off the mound by a trainer.

So now we have Mark Prior, still only 29 years old, planning to work out for scouts at USC tomorrow. Maybe all his arm needed was four years of rest. Maybe someone will throw him a bone, offer him an incentive-laden contract dependent on his number of starts. San Diego did that on two separate occasions, and he failed to pitch an inning for them.

No, Prior's probably done, a sad reminder of a time when the Cubs actually had not one flamethrowing savior, but two. The unluckier of two unlucky young guns, a modern day Spahn and Sain that never came to be.

But he'll try; it's hard to let baseball go. Very few pitchers leave the game voluntarily. Mark Prior just wants to be able to leave the game under his own power.

Prior to work out for scouts [FOX Sports]