Keep an eye on former A’s left-hander Mark Mulder, who hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2008 but is attempting a comeback.
Mulder, who’s been working as a television analyst, retired after continuous shoulder problems plagued him with the St. Louis Cardinals. But he said he picked up something on TV while watching Dodgers lefty Paco Rodriguez pitch in October.
Mulder, 36, began throwing in November and incorporated one characteristic of Rodriguez’s windup in his own delivery – he now separates his hands at head level rather than at his midsection.
“I gave it a go, and the next thing you know, at the beginning of November I’m in the gym every day and I’m throwing off a mound,” Mulder told 95.7 The Game on Wednesday. “I had Mark Ellis stand in on me, and a few other people, and they’re going ‘Are you kidding me?’ It was really good.”
An A’s source told CSN California that Mulder is not on the team’s radar. But ESPN’s Buster Olney told 95.7 that he thinks the Giants could potentially be a match given the presence of Tim Hudson, one of Mulder’s “Big Three” teammates in Oakland along with Barry Zito.
“I live on the West Coast, so any West Coast team would be a plus,” Mulder said.
After having two shoulder surgeries while with the Cardinals, Mulder said his mechanics began to change, and he thinks it’s possible his mechanical problems contributed to his pitching woes at the end of his career even more so than any health issues.
Mulder recently threw in Scottsdale for three teams he did not identify, but he said his fastball was clocked at 89-90 mph.
“My sinker was as good as any of my time in Oakland,” he said. “My changeup, right now, is probably my second-best pitch. It’s a process of trying to get myself ready and get prepared. I’m obviously not there yet. I understand I have a ways to go. But as far as being ready to impress some teams, I’m ready to do that.”