Mark Prior Passes Towel Drill!

Good to see Mark Prior back on track for the majors.
And glad we’re not talking about the towel drill!

Prior joins Triple-A Oklahoma City, a Rangers affiliate, this weekend.
The 30-year-old envisions his comeback as a reliever, not a starter.

The obvious health questions aside, Prior has a tough road to reach the Rangers’ bullpen. Texas relievers lead the AL in wins (25), are second in strikeouts and have posted a 1.80 ERA since August 19.

There are also two sure-fire prospects blocking Prior’s chances. Left-handers Michael Kirkman, who was named the Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Year this week, and Derek Holland, who went 6-2 with a 1.87 ERA for Oklahoma City before his recent call-up to Arlington.

However, a strong showing for Prior in Triple-A could earn a late September call-up. And although he would not be eligible for postseason play, an invite to spring training 2011 could put Prior back in the majors before we know it.

Prior spent one month this season pitching for the Orange County Flyers of the Golden Baseball League. In nine releif appearances Prior allowed just one unearned run, striking out 22 of 44 baters faced.


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