Mulder’s rehab start
I just got back from watching Mark Mulder’s rehab start for the Quad Cities, and overall I liked what I saw. The wildly optimistic side of me hoped that somehow with the rest Mulder would magically revert to the Oakland A version 2003, but that isn’t gonna happen. But the soft-tossing grounder machine 2005 version of Mulder was there, getting 7 ground outs to 6 fly outs with a fastball topping out at 87 mph. (However, I did think the gun at the stadium was slow. If I were to guess, he may have hit 89 tops.) His control was good, though spotty at times resulting in the 2 walks and the 2 XBH. Both the double and the homerun yielded were sinkers that didn’t sink and were around 84 mph later in the game. One thing that I noticed was every time Mulder tried to throw a curve there was a little hesitation in his delivery and the balls ended up in the dirt and at times getting away from the catcher. He really needs that curve working to get strikeouts with any sort of regularity.
If you think the 6 fly balls are worrisome, I wouldn’t get overly worked up about it. Most of them were routine pop ups or were made on the infield, I can only remember a few hit right on the nose. I’d be shocked if Mulder continues his extreme gopheritis trend when he returns, but I wouldn’t expect to see him return to his nice, low rates of 05 either.
Based on what I saw, I would expect Mulder to come back and be an asset, going back to getting lots of groundballs and inducing DP’s, and yet still doing his fair share of trying to nibble the corners and being fairly hittable.
EDIT: Rob at the Birdwatch was there also, and frankly his analysis puts mine to shame. I highly recommend it. I had the same idea to log every pitch while I was there, with pen and paper in hand but I’ll excuse myself by saying it was really freakin’ hot and there was a lot of moving around in my section.