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Mark Mulder

Mark Mulder in 2008
Free Agent — No. --
Starting pitcher
Born: August 5, 1977 (1977-08-05) (age 32)
South Holland, Illinois
Bats: Left Throws: Left 
MLB debut
April 18, 2000 for the Oakland Athletics
Career statistics
(through 2008 season)
Win-Loss     103-60
Earned run average     4.18
Strikeouts     834
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Mark Alan Mulder (born August 5, 1977 in South Holland, Illinois) is a left-handed free agent starting pitcher in Major League Baseball. After playing for Michigan State University, Mulder was selected by the Oakland Athletics with the second overall pick in the 1998 Major League Baseball Draft.

Contents

Oakland Athletics

Mulder was quickly placed on the fast track to the major leagues and made his major-league debut on April 18, 2000; he was still only 22 years old and had less than two seasons of minor-league experience. He had a rocky start to his MLB career, going 9-10 with a 5.44 ERA.

In 2001, Mulder played his first full major-league season and quickly became a dominant pitcher. Leading the American League with 21 wins, he was in contention for a Cy Young Award, anchoring a powerful Oakland rotation along with Barry Zito and Tim Hudson, called the "The Big Three". He continued to do well in 2002, winning 19 games and striking out a career-high 159 batters in 207.1 innings. Limited by injuries in 2003, he would only log 26 starts, he still won 15 games and had a career-best 3.13 earned run average. 2004 was a rough year for Mulder; he had a higher ERA and walked more batters. The A's traded him to the St. Louis Cardinals on December 18, 2004, for pitchers Danny Haren and Kiko Calero, and minor league catcher Daric Barton.

Mulder, Hudson, and Zito were able to carry their team to the postseason four seasons in a row, from 2000 to 2003. Mulder competed in the playoffs in 2001 and 2002, logging two starts each against the New York Yankees (2001) and the Minnesota Twins (2002). He carried over his strong regular-season performance by pitching 24 innings in the four playoff starts, with an ERA of 2.25 and 19 strikeouts.

St. Louis Cardinals

After being acquired by St. Louis in exchange for right-handed pitcer Dan Haren, Mulder began the 2006 season strong, with a 5-1 record and 3.69 ERA through May 17. However, his next six starts were mediocre to awful, and his ERA ballooned to 6.09. He turned out to be suffering from rotator cuff and shoulder problems, and the Cardinals placed him on the disabled list June 23. In August he was taken off the disabled list and made several starts in the minors. On August 23, he made his first start ML start in two months and gave up 9 runs, all of which were earned, in 3 innings.

After undergoing rotator cuff surgery, and with a return for the opening of the 2007 season unlikely, Mulder's future with the Cardinals looked somewhat uncertain in the 2007 offseason. However, despite being offered comparable deals with the Cleveland Indians and the Texas Rangers, Mulder re-signed with the St. Louis Cardinals on January 10, to a two-year $13 million contract, with performance-based incentives and a club option that could take the deal to three years at a possible $45 million.

After being re-activated on September 5, 2007, he continued to struggle with his command, losing all three of his starts with an ERA of 12.27. In that time, he pitched only 11 innings, and gave up 22 hits and seven walks. This prompted an MRI scan, which led the team to the conclusion that Mulder needed additional clean-up rotator cuff surgery. Although he was expected to recover from surgery in time for Spring Training, Mark started the 2008 season on the disabled list. On June 30, 2008, Mulder made his return. He came in from the bullpen with a 7-1 lead over the New York Mets in the top of the ninth. Mulder finished the ballgame with no runs. On July 9, 2008, Mulder started his first game of the season against the Philadelphia Phillies. After striking out Jimmy Rollins to begin the game, Mulder threw eight consecutive pitches out of the strike zone, and left the game with a shoulder injury while attempting a pickoff throw.

On October 20, 2008, Greg Clifton, Mark Mulder's agent, said that the Cardinals have decided not to exercise his client's $11 mil. option for the 2009 season, instead buying out his contract for $1.5 million.[1]

Accomplishments

  • Led American League in wins in 2001 (21)
  • Led American League pitchers in complete games in 2003 (9) and 2004 (5)
  • Led American League in shutouts in 2001 (4) and 2003 (2)
  • American League All-Star, 2003 and 2004

See also

References

External links

Preceded by
Tim Hudson & David Wells
American League Wins Champion
2001
Succeeded by
Barry Zito
Preceded by
Esteban Loaiza
American League All-Star Game Starting Pitcher
2004
Succeeded by
Mark Buehrle
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