Eventually, for it to be called a comeback, you have to, you know, come back.

Just because you haven’t heard Mark Prior’s name in a while — like possibly since 2006 — doesn’t mean the one-time Cubs prodigy is retired. Heck, no. Prior won’t even turn 30 until this September. And he’s carefully working his way back from his second shoulder surgery, trying to make one more comeback.

It’s slightly more than 20 months since Dr. James Andrews performed that most recent operation, to repair a torn shoulder capsule. Now Prior’s agent, John Boggs, tells Rumblings that Prior is throwing off a mound in California, trying to ease his way back to health.

“Mark has been through so many timelines, at this point I’m almost allergic to the word,” Boggs said. “But he’s out there. He’s getting himself ready. And when he’s ready, I’m sure you’ll hear a lot about him. Then we’ll invite teams to come watch him throw. And hopefully, he’ll be the next Ben Sheets.” Jayson Stark.

Sheets was rehabbing for a year and was never really out of baseball. Prior hasn’t pitched in the bigs in three years. There’s a difference, and it’s undeniable.

We tend to scoff at Prior’s comeback efforts – and we probably deserve to, having been particularly burned – but it’s ironic: this week the Cubs are going to scout Noah Lowry, and many fans were excited about the prospect of landing Lowry on a low risk deal. Lowry hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2007, and when he did, he was never even close to the pitcher that Mark Prior was. Yet we still get a little excited.

So maybe a Mark Prior comeback isn’t as ridiculous as it sounds.

  • Tanner

    What a sad story. I wouldn’t mind if the Cubs signed him to a minor league deal and see what happens. You gotta love his determination! I hope he does make a comeback. I always did, and will be, pulling for this guy! Wouldn’t it be amazing if he got 10 wins in the major league deal?!! GO MARK YOU CAN DO IT MAN!

    • Ace

      I wonder if the Cubs would even offer him a minor league deal. My guess is there’s still some bad blood there.

  • KB

    He’s had the strangest career of any player I can ever remember.

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  • http://www.givejonadollar.com givejonadollar

    Prior might be a good long reliever out of the pen. I would love to see him get a shot if his arm action returns.

  • Chrisians, Tanner

    Mark Prior would be a guy I’d like to have a beer with. Can you imagine how sad of a story he has to tell. The guy was easily the best pitcher in the game. And even playing for the cubs he never choked in the playoffs. I miss his presence on the team and would love to see him back in a cubs uniform in a couple years.

    • Jeff

      Never choked in the playoffs… except for game 6 of the 2003 nlcs

  • John

    Maybe if he’d learn proper pitching mechanics, he’d be a viable pitcher in the majors. I’m guessing he won’t, and we’ll just keep rinsing and repeating…the same injury cycle that has plagued his entire career.

  • nj pearson

    This former Chicagoan remembers Prior as a cry-baby; wish to be wrong.