Former Cubs ace, Mark Prior, is one step closer to returning to the majors.

After four years of not pitching in the major leagues it looks like Prior might finally be healthy and might even get a shot by season's end.

After leaving the Cubs and failing to make a comeback with his hometown San Diego Padres, Prior took some time off and got healthy.

In June he pitched in front of some scouts and after the phone didn't ring he agreed to a deal with the Orange County Flyers of the Golden Baseball League in August. After pitching in nine games and 11 innings allowing only one run, five hits, five walks and one hit batter while striking out 22, Prior made enough on an impression that the Texas Rangers came calling.

On September 3 he signed a minor league contract with the Rangers and then on Sunday September 5 he made his debut. Prior through a scoreless inning in relief walking one and allowing one hit while striking out two. It was a nice step in the right direction for what has been an extremely long road back for the former second overall pick. He threw 28 pitches with his fastball topping out at 92 MPH once but was normally either 90 or 91 MPH which is much slower then the 96 MPH he was being clocked at during his time in Chicago.

Prior also seems to have an improved attitude which may help him greatly on his road back. It has been very interesting tracking him over the past few months and it will be much more so over the next few if he performs well during the month of September. Who knows maybe he will even get a late season call up to the big leagues. Wouldn't it be something seeing Prior comeback the same season the next big thing, Stephen Strasburg, made his debut and ended up needing Tommy John Surgery?