By Greg Johns
SEATTLE — Injured Seattle reliever Stephen Pryor was in the Mariners' clubhouse Thursday afternoon to check with trainers and get some work in as he continues recovering from a torn latissimus dorsi muscle behind his right shoulder that has sidelined him since mid-April.
But the former Friendship Christian star is getting closer to returning as he's now thrown three scoreless innings in three rehab appearances for Triple-A Tacoma, including a 1-2-3 eighth inning in Wednesday's 5-3 victory over Tucson.
Pryor said he'll be back with the Rainiers on Friday and is looking toward pitching in back-to-back performances sometime soon.
"I think it's coming in the near future, but I'm not sure what days," said the hard-throwing right-hander who was the ace of the Commanders' 2007 state champions. "If I get through that and everything goes fine, that's kind of the test. But I've felt good. Mechanically, everything has been good. I'm just kind of working on pitches and trying to get back to where I was."
Pryor, 24, was hit hard in his first game back for Class A Everett, but has since allowed just one baserunner - on a walk - in three innings for Tacoma.
"The first outing was a little rough," he said. "But after that, things have gone pretty smooth. I just had to get the cobwebs out, I guess."
Pryor didn't allow a run in seven outings for the Mariners to start the year, allowing just three hits in 7 1/3 innings, but isn't quite back to that dominant level yet.
"I'd say I'm like in mid-spring training," he said. "It's fair to say it's a few outings away, hopefully. But I'm finally getting to play in some games, which is nice. It's a lot better than sitting in the training room."