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.

2 Comments

I know everyone is anxious to have Mulder back in the rotation but I fear the worst. I just don’t think his arm is ready for a return.

87mph is nothing to be excited about, expecially since his All-Star appearance in 2004 (or was it 2003?)when he threw solidly in the 90s. (In my opinion, this was the start of his overall decline. The way he pressed after that, without achieving remarkable results, you could just see that his arm was destined for a shutdown.)

He’s gonna have to do better than 87mph in the big house, and in order to do that he’s gonna have to amp it up sigificantly in the next two weeks. I just don’t think his arm is ready for that. There is no way it will have the strength to maintain such rigors.

I fear we are rushing him back and it’s a big mistake. I will continue to contend that he has a plain and simple dead arm that needs total rest and to be left alone… right up until he pitches five solid 7-inning games in a row, with pitches that breach 90mph, and we find ourselves in the World Series. But my sinking suspicion is that we’ll see him pitch one terrific game and then he’ll flounder to being a five-and-out guy.

I am soooo worried about the track we have him on. I fear it will only hurt him (and us). Are we so desperate as to put a prized pitcher in danger? My stomach is in knots.

(Of course, I would love to be totally wrong. My HOPE is that his woes really were the result of minor inflamation and tweaked mechanics. Wouldn’t it be a fantastic breath of fresh air to Mulder take the mound and start snapping off curveballs and driving in sinkers to the tune of 93-94mph?! Now, there’s something to look forward to.)

Like I said, the gun seemed slow. Both he and the opponent’s pitcher threw some hard pitches that popped the mitt, yet only registered 87-88. If I were to guess, he may have hit 89

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