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Yet Another Setback for Prior

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Apr 13, 2007 5:13PM

2007_04_sports_prior.jpgIn his first start after coming off the minor league disabled list, Mark Prior left the extended spring training game after only two innings on Thursday after supposedly experiencing shoulder discomfort.

His shoulder will be examined by orthopedic specialist Lewis Yocum in the next few days. But will Yocum find anything wrong with Prior's shoulder?

All spring, Prior and the Cubs have maintained he was healthy in spite of has reduced velocity following stints on the DL for shoulder problems last year. Is he still injured? Is this a new injury? Or just buying time while trying to salvage his career?

Chicagoist recently got a juicy tip from a source that the real reason for Prior's reduced velocity this spring has more to do with his going off steroids than recovering from any injury. The ‘roids use would sure help explain the countless freak injuries – steroid use is known to make users prone to injury. Remember Sammy Sosa’s sneeze-induced back injury? When baseball enacted tougher testing policies, Prior got clean and that is the reason for the noticeable lack of pop on his fastballs. Our source's story came from people within Cubs management within the past few days, and seems to be credible.

With his velocity now 7-8 mph lower than in the past, he can no longer cut it at the major league level unless he’s able to develop an incredible curveball. Again, these words supposedly came from within the Cubs organization. So is another injury just his covehir to go into hiding while trying to relearn how to pitch?

Chicagoist would be willing to bet that we won’t ever be seeing Mark Prior back pitching in Wrigley, at least for the Cubs…