Mark Mulder, a two-time All-Star and former staff pillar with the Oakland Athletics and St. He's been working as an analyst at ESPN since 2011, and had come to grips with the notion that his big-league days were at an end.
But things changed in October when Mulder watched Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Paco Rodriguez on TV and found something in Rodriguez's delivery that he could emulate. Mulder spent the month of November working himself into shape at a Phoenix-area facility run by former big-league catcher Chad Moeller, and recently threw off the mound for three unspecified teams near his home in Scottsdale.
[+] EnlargeAP Photo/Tom GannamThough he hasn't pitched since 2009 for the Cardinals, Mark Mulder is attempting a comeback.
He said scouts clocked his fastball at 89-90 mph. Mulder was 23 years old in 2001 when he went 21-8 with a 3.45 ERA to finish second to Roger Clemens in the American League Cy Young Award balloting.
Mulder, Tim Hudson and Barry Zito -- Oakland's "Big Three'' -- helped lead the Athletics to four straight playoff appearances from 2000 through 2003.
The Athletics sent Mulder to St. But Mulder said his delivery and arm "never worked right'' after he underwent shoulder surgeries in 2006 and 2007.
A fluke viewing of Rodriguez on TV apparently changed that. Mulder had always separated his hands at his delivery at his midsection, but tried raising them near his head similar to the way Rodriguez does. "Why not give it a shot?"