There are two ways to view Mark Prior’s spring debut with the Cubs Monday.

There’s the view Prior and the Cubs took, which was one of encouragement. And then there’s the fans’ view: that he sucked.

The right-hander lasted just an inning and a third, allowing three earned runs and never getting higher than 87 miles an hour on the radar gun.

“I’m not worried about the results, I’m just happy to be pitching again,” said Prior. “No matter if the Seattle Mariners just lit me up, at least I was throwing the ball.

Added manager Lou Pinella, “We’re just glad his arm didn’t fall off.”

Cubs fans are getting a little impatient with the one-time phenom, who hasn’t been the same since 2003 and had several arm injuries.

“It’d be nice if the fans cut me a little slack,” said Prior. “I know I’ll get better. But if they keep giving me a hard time, I could end up imagining–I mean having–another arm injury. And no one wants that.”

heckler editorial staff