Note to Mark Prior fans: he's got serious mechanics issues right now. I watched his first two innings against the Twinkies today and it's no surprise to me that his velocity is down (about 4-5 mph) and his curve ball is flat.
Note to whoever owns Mark Prior. He's got serious mechanics issues right now. I watched his first inning against the Twinkies today (actually, anyone with WGN should be able to watch this game...) and it's no surprise to me that his velocity is way down (about 4-5 mph) and his curve ball is flat.
Note, first, his release point. It's very low and not very far out in front. His elbow is way too low as well. All of this leads to an inability to finish pitches out front ("pop it" as I say). Hence, you will not see his best curve or his best fastball. I can't believe the Cubs are sending him out there, as his mechanics as they are will likely lead to injury problems, possibly in the shoulder, which bears the brunt of the strain when one pitches like this. Really you can verify this yourself. Put your arm in a similar position, hand near the shoulder with the elbow down. Considering that I'd bet he's not in top physical form because of his extended layoff, they are certainly doing their best to get him injured again. Which makes no sense at all, with the Cubs so far out of contention. If I were a Cubs fan, I would be all sorts of pissed. And, even though I normally mock the Cubs mercilessly, I hate to see this sort of thing. Ugh. I just hope he doesn't start overthrowing to compensate.
If you want to assess his future starts for yourself, the position of his elbow will be most telling. It should be about even with his shoulder height, as this is where he has been in the past. Personally, I wouldn't recommend pitching this way anyway, but it is relatively effective as long as your elbow can take it. With the likelihood so high that you can come back from TJ these days, it's not THAT big a deal. Shoulder issues are death to pitchers.