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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Mark Mulder working out for five teams in comeback attempt

By on 12/22/2013 06:35:00 PM

Mark Mulder was one of the three talented young pitchers of the Oakland Athletics in the early part of the 2000's. Along with Barry Zito and Tim Hudson, he helped make up a starting rotation that all Major League teams coveted. Now, after five years away from the game, Mulder is trying to get just one last chance to pitch in the Major Leagues.

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that Mulder, age 36, has worked out for five teams -- Giants, Padres, Phillies, Diamondbacks, and Angels -- over two seasons in effort to hook on wherever he can. He has improved his fastball up to 92 mph, and Cafardo believes that the left-hander has a good chance of landing a Minor League contract and working his way up to Major League roster. Cafardo writes,
"He may have to agree to a minor league deal first, with incentives if he makes the major league club.... It’s a long road back, but the fact that Mulder’s shoulder is showing no signs of discomfort could mean he’d be a good back-end option for someone. The Red Sox have inquired, but probably won’t pursue him."
Mulder stopped pitching after two rotator cuff surgeries on his left shoulder in the early parts of 2007 and 2008. He made just three appearances for St. Louis each year and 17 in 2006. He last injury, a left shoulder strain, ended is career (barring a comeback) on July 10, 2008. He had a total of five stints on the disabled list because of left shoulder problems. His other two stints came from a fractured femur in 2002 and a left forearm strain in 2003.

In his career, Mulder is 103-60 with a 4.18 ERA, 1.342 WHIP, and 5.7 K/9-IP in at least parts of nine seasons with Oakland and St. Louis from 2000-2008. His best years came between 2001-2006 before his shoulder problems began in 2006: 94-47, 3.93 ERA.

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