is out for the rest of the season and his once promising future with the Chicago Cubs is unclear, although surgery on his right shoulder is not considered career-threatening.
Surgeon James Andrews operated on the 26-year-old righthander Tuesday in an arthroscopic procedure in which he also worked on Prior's rotator cuff.
"Dr. Andrews feels comfortable that he will still have a career. This is certainly not career-ending," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said yesterday. "He felt optimistic that he would be able to pitch next year. . . . At his age, he should not have a problem responding and coming back after a strenuous rehab."
Prior has been beset by injuries since his first full season in the majors in 2003. He went on the disabled list three times last year and started this season at triple-A Iowa.
The Cubs were hoping Prior could rebound and compete for their fifth starter's spot that eventually went to Wade Miller.
Prior is 42-29 with a 3.51 ERA in the majors. He took a slight pay cut this season, from $3.65 million to $3.58 million. Prior finished third in NL Cy Young Award voting in 2003, when he was 18-6 with a 4.24 ERA and struck out 245 in 2111/3innings.
The Oakland Athletics activated first baseman Dan Johnson from the 15-day disabled list and optioned catcher Adam Melhuse to triple-A Sacramento.
The move leaves designated hitter Mike Piazza as the backup to starting catcher Jason Kendall.
Pirates second baseman Freddy Sanchez was taken out of the lineup against Houston because of irritation in his right eye.
Sanchez, last year's NL batting champion with a .344 average, went to an eye doctor earlier in the day. Debris was removed from his eye.
Boston manager Terry Francona wanted to sit Manny Ramirez against Baltimore last night, but after Ramirez said he wanted to play, the manager relented. Ramirez went 1 for 4 in the 6-1 win. He is batting .200 with two homers and 11 RBIs.
The Tigers' schedule took them from Detroit on Sunday to Anaheim, Calif., for two games against the Angels, then to Chicago before they head home.
"It's not bad, it's stupid," said manager Jim Leyland. "It's not bad at all, private plane, good food, play cards, relax, a lot of room on the plane. It's not a matter of being bad, it's matter of being stupid scheduling."
Jim Thome missed his second straight game for the Chicago White Sox with a sore muscle in his right rib cage. Thome said he should be back shortly, but he could not put a timetable on his return. Thome has 10 hits in his last 19 at-bats.
Milwaukee Brewers manager Ned Yost was recovering from a broken collarbone a day after he tripped during a jog near Wrigley Field.
"I felt like an idiot," he said.