Once an elite pitcher with the Oakland Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals, Mark Mulder was forced out of baseball due to injuries after leaving the A’s. He retired in 2009 after having had multiple surgeries on his rotator cuff in 2006-2007. He has not thrown a pitch in the Major Leagues since 2008. He signed on to be an analyst for ESPN in 2011 and had been working for the network since.
At his best during his four years in Oakland and first year in St. Louis (2001-2005) had a 3.65 ERA (120 ERA+) and a 1.20 WHIP while averaging 210 innings per season.
During the 2013 playoffs Mulder noticed something that he believed would be able to give him another chance to pitch in the big leagues. He saw something in Dodgers’ pitcher Paco Rodriguez‘s delivery that be believed he could replicate without any further damage being made to his rotator cuff.
Mulder worked hard over the last few month of 2013 and the first couple months in 2014 to get back into pitching shape. The Los Angeles Angels decided to give the veteran left-hander a chance in 2014, signing him to a minor league contract and giving him an invitation to spring training where he was going to try and compete for a spot on the Angels’ starting rotation, according to an article on MLB.com earlier this year.
Unfotunately, the 36-year old tore his achilles tendon while doing agility drills prior to even throwing his first pitch at spring training according to an article by Mike DiGiovanni of the Los Angeles Times. The abrupt end to his comeback was a big blow to both Mulder and his family, especially his young son.
I can handle this. But seeing my son in tears when he saw me in a boot and crutches and I told him I wasn’t going to pitch. That was tough.
— Mark Mulder (@markmulder20) February 15, 2014
At 36 and with such a serious injuy, most people assumed that Mulder’s career was officially over this time. According to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, this is now officially not the case. Mulder is still planning to try to comeback to baseball in 2015.
Mark Mulder said he began throwing again this week and plans to try his comeback again next year. Mulder tore Achilles w #Angels this spring
— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) August 6, 2014
Mulder turned 37 on Tuesday and this will not be an easy task. He has not pitched a full season since 2005 reports Joe Kaiser of EPSN.com and, as previously mentioned, last time he threw a pitch in the majors was in 2008. However, if not for the freak injury to his Achilles tendon, there was an actual chance that Mulder could have made the Angels rotation for this season. I say why not try again? It would be a brilliant example of a what an athlete can accomplish and would likely be the 2015 story of the year. Best of luck to you Mulder.
Tags: Mark Mulder