Sunday, June 1, 2008

Prior Done For Season,
Sidearming Smoltz?

Mark Prior signed a $1 million deal [excluding incentives] with the San Diego Padres last offseason in the hopes of resurrecting a career which had sputtered its way out of Wrigleyville.

Unfortunately for Prior, the painful phrase "season ending surgery" is again the mantra in 2008 as the righthander will have his shoulder operated on to repair the anterior capsule. Padres Manager Bud Black, a former big league pitcher himself told reporters "I can’t imagine how frustrated [Prior] is."

In other pitching injury news, John Smoltz is attempting to work his way back from an arm ailment which had hindered his performance by making some drastic changes to his delivery. The future HOFer will institute a three-quarters armslot with the goal of pitching toward contact, getting groundball outs, limiting strikeouts and thereby avoiding high stress pitchcounts. Apparently the transition is still very much experimental as Smoltz already threw a fastball six feet over a hitter's head last week during a minor league rehab outing.

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