Fantasy Spin: Prior fractures elbow

Originally Published: May 27, 2005
By Eric Karabell | ESPN Games Fantasy Edge
Forget about the Cubs being cursed for a minute. Those in fantasy baseball who have dared to draft or trade for Mark Prior the last two seasons are feeling that way today as well.

Prior entered Friday's doomed start against the Rockies with a 2.93 ERA and 1.03 WHIP, and 62 strikeouts in 58.1 innings. Not bad at all, and enough to make him the 35th best player in fantasy, according to the ESPN Player Rater, and 14th pitcher. The question is, when will he get a chance to pitch again and what are the fantasy repercussions here now that his elbow has a fracture after a line drive hit it?

Prior will likely be placed on the disabled list, for the fifth time in four seasons, and miss considerable time. This is his pitching elbow, even a slight fracture would hold him back until it heals and prevent him keeping the arm in shape. Don't drop Prior from your roster, for he can carry a fantasy team even if he returns late in the season. Don't forget his 16-strikeout effort against the Reds in his final 2004 outing. Those expected to still be in contention for fantasy titles in September should take note, maybe attempt to acquire Prior on the cheap.