Cockcroft: Chicago Cursed
Originally Published: March 15, 2005By Tristan H. Cockcroft | ESPN Games Fantasy Edge
Curses! With the Curse of the Bambino now out of the way, the Curse of the Billy Goat is free to roam center stage as the game's most prominent hex -- and on Monday, it claimed its newest victim, flame-throwing right-hander Mark Prior. In the day's most disturbing news, Mark Prior is out indefinitely with inflammation in his right elbow. It's the second straight spring in which he has battled some sort of elbow injury -- he missed the first two months of last season due partially to stiffness in the same joint -- which is quite a concern for a youngster who racked up so many high pitch counts in the first full year of his major-league career. Consider that Prior averaged 113.4 pitches per start in his breakout 2003 campaign, the most of any pitcher with at least 30 starts. He topped the 100-pitch plateau in 29 of his 33 starts, counting the postseason, and surpassed the "danger zone" of 120 pitches in a single outing on 10 occasions. Prior threw 211.1 innings yet was just 22 years old at the time, a young age for that kind of workload.
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