Randy Bush, a special assistant to Hendry, watched Prior's last outing in New Orleans.
"[Bush] was absolutely pleased with the velocity and explosion coming out of his hand," Hendry said. "He had him at five or six [pitches] at 92 [mph] and felt there was more in there. Mark hasn't been taxed like that for awhile.
"To my knowledge, he's well on his way to making a start soon."
But where? Prior could face the Tigers on Sunday or make one more Minor League start then. Baker can't wait to get him back.
"Hey, that's getting one of your stars back," Baker said. "You get innings, quality, victories. Imagine if we would've had him from the beginning."
Sunday would be Prior's fifth day between outings and give the other starters, such as Carlos Zambrano and Greg Maddux, a much-needed extra day.
Cubs pitchers Kerry Wood and Wade Miller also threw in the bullpen on Friday. Both are coming back from shoulder surgery. Chicago first baseman Derrek Lee, rehabbing from a fractured right wrist, stood in to face Miller during his session -- sort of simulated at-bats -- but Lee didn't swing.
"Too nasty," Lee said.
Arms race, part II: Scott Williamson, on the disabled list with tendinitis in his right elbow, threw one inning for Class A Peoria on Thursday night against Kane County. He gave up one run on one hit and struck out one batter.
"It felt a little out of sync," Williamson said Friday, "but my arm felt fine. I don't care about the statistics. I went out there and just need to get a little more control of the strike zone. The last three hitters, I threw well."
The right-hander is being careful, too. He's had two operations on his right elbow, so he knows not to overdo it.
"I probably held back a little bit out there," Williamson said. "I wanted to hit the strike zone a lot. It's a little tougher down there to pitch because you don't have the adrenaline or concentration, and you don't know the hitters.
"I need probably another outing or so to get more control of the strike zone. I feel like I could pitch right now here. Your focus is better up here and you know the hitters."
Williamson was not sure about the next phase of his rehab.
Guest hitter: Gonzaga's Adam Morrison took a few swings in the batting cage Friday. Morrison is in town to try out for the Chicago Bulls prior to the NBA Draft. Jeff Samardzija, the Cubs' fifth-round pick in the First-Year Player Draft, was in town to throw for the team. He wants to play both baseball and football. What about Morrison?
"I could barely hit it out of the infield," Morrison said, "so I think baseball is out of the question."
The 6-foot-8 forward doesn't have much of a baseball background.
"I played in seventh, eighth grade, and I was batting ninth and playng right field, and that's it," Morrison said.
And then he grew?
"Then I grew, and batting ninth and playing right field in eighth grade wakens you up and says you won't be playing a lot of this," he said.
Minor matters: Rich Hill gave up two runs on five hits over six innings in Iowa's 5-2 win over New Orleans. Hill struck out six. Ryan Theriot had three RBIs and was 2-for-3. Geovany Soto had two hits. ... Scott Moore hit a two-run homer, one of three hits for the day, as Double-A West Tenn beat Huntsville, 9-0. Chris Shaver went the distance, giving up five hits over seven scoreless innings. Nic Jackson and Eric Patterson each had two hits. ... Roberto Sotolongo threw four scoreless innings in Daytona's 2-0, 10-inning win over Brevard County. Jeff Culpepper hit a RBI single in the 10th for the game-winner, and Jake Fox added an RBI single to raise his total to 61. ... Mitch Atkins gave up four runs on four hits over six innings in Peoria's 7-5 win over Kane County. Yusuf Carter hit a three-run homer.
The Chiefs were at Wrigley Field on Friday for a tour of the clubhouse, and some of the big-league players took care of the Minor Leaguers by giving them extra shoes, bats and gloves.
On deck: Rookie Carlos Marmol will make his second big-league start on Saturday for the Cubs in Game 2 of this series against the Tigers, who will counter with Justin Verlander. The game will be broadcast on WGN Radio and Comcast Sports Net.