This started out as an email to friends about a Yankee injury and came to mind again because of an interesting blog post about a Yankee minor leaguer. First the email:
“When a player is put in a different position than usual, the announcer will often say something like "the ball will find that player" and yesterday's play in the Yankee / Tiger game got me thinking that maybe the same can be said for injuries. We have all seen players who seem to always be injured, like a Ken Griffey Jr, for example. Just how much better a career could he have had if even just half the time he was injured, he had been injury free. Well yesterday it seems that injury, that has stalked Eric Chavez for the last 5-6 years, found him once again. The Yankees signed him to be a utility player, just play occasionally, and made every effort to keep his workload light, given his history. Then yesterday he breaks his foot RUNNING THE BASES...No one seemed surprised, everyone seemed to expect it, the bloggers have been predicting it since he was signed in January and one month into the season, it happened. I wonder what the over/under was. "An injury will find that player?" Yep I believe it is so.
To quote one of the most irritating men in all baseball announcer-dom - "Well you know Suzyn, you can never predict baseball" but then again isn't that what we just did ?”
The blog post by Mark Abruzzese in his Bronx Baseball Daily where he quotes Donnie Collins of the Scranton Times-Tribune: “A not so good sign is what Newman had to say on one of the Yankees’ injured relievers: “Prior is not close. That said, Prior did play some catch in the outfield before the game today, under the oversight of strength coordinator Lee Tressel. But it doesn’t look like Prior is going to be on the mound again any time soon.”
Abruzzese continued “It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything on Mark Prior so this is not good news. Prior went down with a groin injury about a month ago. For him to be that far away from what should be a minor injury with no sign of a return soon is simply not good. This is exactly what everyone should have expected though when the Yankees got involved with Prior. He simply cannot stay healthy. There is no reason to simply release him now, but if he ever pitches in the Bronx I will be shocked.”
So like Eric Chavez and Nick Johnson and Carl Pavavo, Mark Prior has entered Yankee lore as an oft injured, non productive free agent who is most likely never going to see the light of day in a Yankee uniform. Pavano was a bust, Johnson a bust, Chavez has a real chance to be a bust and Prior, who may not make the majors again, bust. When teams sign players like Prior and Chavez or Johnson they are hoping to catch lightening in a bottle. The Yankees have the distinct possibility of going 0/3 with this trio. Only the relative success of Garcia and Colon this season is keeping them from tipping over under the weight of disappointment.