Prior to have surgery on shoulder; Miller put on DL

Updated: April 24, 2007, 12:47 AM ET
Associated Press

CHICAGO -- Mark Prior's right shoulder still hurts, and the oft-injured Chicago Cubs pitcher will have surgery Tuesday.

Mark Prior
Prior

Prior will have an exploratory arthroscopic procedure in Birmingham, Ala., Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said Monday. Dr. James Andrews has been given permission for a more extensive operation if he determines it is necessary.

"He's had some discomfort for a couple years," Hendry said. "It's finally gotten to a point where it's probably the right decision to let one of the best people in the world go and have a look around to see if anything can maybe be fixed, if it doesn't need something major. Dr. Andrews has the clearance if something needs to be fixed or tightened up."

Prior, who made just nine starts last season, was optioned to Triple-A Iowa after a poor spring training. He stayed in extended spring training in Arizona and went on a minor league disabled list.

Prior was 18-6 in 2003, when the Cubs were five outs from reaching the World Series. But he has been saddled with injury problems ever since. He made 21 starts in 2004 and 27 in 2005, his career untracked by injuries to his legs, elbow, oblique and shoulder. He has been on the major league disabled list eight times.

Hendry talked to the 26-year-old on Sunday.

"He was in good spirits," Hendry said. "I think he's at the point now where he realizes it's time for this to happen."

Wade Miller
Miller

Also Monday, the Cubs put pitcher Wade Miller on the 15-day disabled list with middle back spasms and recalled reliever Rocky Cherry before Monday's game against the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Cubs signed Miller in January 2006 after he had arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder. He made five starts last year and earned the fifth starter's spot out of spring training this year. He is 0-1 with a 10.54 ERA in three starts.

"There's nothing wrong with his arm," Hendry said. "He's had some back spasms, it's not anything serious."

Hendry sounded cautious about Miller's future with the club.

"We'd love to find a way to keep him and have him help out, but he'll be the first to tell you he couldn't continue the way his first couple starts have gone," Hendry said. "We'd like to give him another shot. I'm one to believe his career is not over, that he's got a little bit in the tank, as he showed us late in the spring when he earned the job."

The Cubs will skip Miller's next turn in the rotation and Angel Guzman, currently in Triple-A, is to take the No. 5 starter's next scheduled turn on May 1 at Pittsburgh.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press