TORONTO -- Six years after he last pitched in the major leagues, Mark Prior has been promoted to Triple-A.
Boston assigned the oft-injured right-hander to their Triple-A affiliate in Pawtucket on Friday. Prior, who signed a minor league contract with the Red Sox on May 2, had been at extended spring training in Florida.
Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine called Prior's comeback attempt a "great story." A former starter, Prior has been pitching out of the bullpen since signing with Boston.
Prior was the second overall pick when he was chosen by the Chicago Cubs in the 2001 amateur draft. He finished third in NL Cy Young Award voting in 2003, after going 18-6 with a 2.43 ERA, but his career was derailed by a serious shoulder injury and other ailments.
Prior pitched in 11 games at three levels of the New York Yankees system in 2011, going 0-0 with a 2.25 ERA in 12 innings.