Thanks to a new throwing motion, veteran left-hander Mark Mulder planned to attempt a comeback this season after five years away from the game. His career had been derailed by shoulder problems back in the day.
The Angels gave Mulder a minor league contract because hey, why not? It's a no risk move. Unfortunately, the comeback attempt is over before it could really even begin:
Mark Mulder's comeback with #Angels is over before it began. The LHP suffered a ruptured left Achilles doing agility drills.— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) February 15, 2014
Terrible break for Mark Mulder. #Angels were extremely enthused by his throwing sessions and confident he would pitch this year.— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) February 15, 2014
What an awful, awful break. Even if he wanted to continue his comeback attempt, the Achilles injury would sideline Mulder for the entire season and he'd have to wait until 2015. At age 36 and already five years removed from his last MLB action, that just isn't realistic. Mulder is taking the news well, his family ... not so much:
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
Mulder had been working as a television analyst with ESPN since 2011. He had surgery to repair tears in his rotator cuff in both 2006 and 2007. The injuries limited him to 93 1/3 innings in 2006, 11 innings in 2007 and 1 2/3 innings in 2008.
At his best from 2001-05, Mulder had a 3.65 ERA (120 ERA+) and a 1.20 WHIP while averaging 210 innings per season for the Athletics and Cardinals.