Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Mark Alan Mulder (born August 5, 1977 in South Holland, Illinois) is a left-handed starting pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals 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 MLB amateur draft.
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 "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.
On the mound, Mulder shows impressive durability and has logged at least 200 innings pitched in three of the last four seasons. Complementing his low-90s fastball with a slider, curveball, sinker, and changeup, he can pitch with both power and finesse.
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. Tony LaRussa refuses to speculate on Mulder's position in the rotation for 2007, but it is likely that if he makes a full recovery, Mulder could find himself back in the number two slot for the Cardinals as they try to defend their title as World Champions.
Oakland Athletics (2000-2004)
St. Louis Cardinals (2005-present) Accomplishments
List of Major League Baseball wins champions
Posted by gigihong07 at 10:59 AM