Two-time All-Star left-hander Mark Mulder will attempt to make a comeback, four years after he had announced his retirement following a pair of surgeries on his throwing shoulder.
ESPN, with whom Mulder has been working as an analyst since 2011, first reported Mulder's desire for a comeback attempt. According to the report, Mulder saw something in the delivery of Dodgers southpaw Paco Rodriguez that he felt he could emulate.
Mulder, who sports a lifetime 4.18 ERA with a record of 103-60, was a rotation mainstay on two perennial contenders -- the Oakland A's from 2000-04 and the St. Louis Cardinals from 2005-08. He was named to two All-Star teams and finished second in Cy Young Award voting in 2001.
Mulder says he has spent the past month and a half getting himself back into shape and said scouts clocked his fastball at 89-90 mph.
"I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am," Mulder told ESPN. "To be honest with you, I never anticipated this five or six weeks ago. It was just a flat-out fluke that came from me trying to imitate Paco Rodriguez in my living room."
Not getting into specifics, Mulder simply said, "the ball is coming out of my hand better now than at any point when I was in St. Louis."
Mulder's best years came with Oakland, where he helped form the "Big Three" in the A's rotation along with Barry Zito and Tim Hudson. In 2001, Mulder won 21 games and led the American League with four shutouts. He led the league in complete games in both '03 and '04.
With Oakland, Mulder compiled a 3.92 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP. He went 16-8 with a 3.64 ERA in his first season in St. Louis, but struggled after that, never winning more than six games. He announced his initial retirement in February 2010.
AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.