Ten years ago, Mark Prior was the savior. The "can't-miss" prospect who was going to take the Cubs to The Promised Land.
Four years ago, Andrew Cashner was drawing comparisons to Kerry Wood (who was supposed to form the 1-2 punch with Prior) and rising quickly through the Cubs system as a starter who could dial it up to triple digits.
But neither career panned out exactly how each fireballer planned. Prior's derailments have become legendary, and not just in Chicago. Cashner was a revelation in the Cubs' bullpen in 2010 and was supposed to join the rotation in '11 and beyond, but only made one start before a shoulder injury forced him out for most of last season.
Both Cashner and Prior are attempting to get their careers back on track.
Cashner, 25, was traded to the Padres this winter for first-base prospect Anthony Rizzo. The new regime in the front office felt the big right-hander profiled more as a reliever than a starter.
He's getting his chance to prove them wrong. Cashner, who has made 27 appearances out of the Padres bullpen this season, is going to get a chance to start on Saturday. He might be capped at three innings, but considering the Padres' rotation is a mess, there's a chance Cashner could stick and build stamina as the season wears on.
Prior, meanwhile, is attempted to make another comeback, this time with Theo Epstein's old team in Boston. Believe it or not, the former second-overall pick is still only 31 and is averaging 91 mph on his fastball. The odds are still against him, but he's off to a good start for the Paw Sox in Triple-A.
Wood, on the other hand, retired last month and was on CTL Thursday, discussing how he's spending his newfound time off.