The Mgr on Mulder
One of my ongoing frustrations over the past couple of weeks was my inability to get a satisfying answer as to why the Cardinals were so convinced that Mark Mulder was ready to pitch, following a pair of not-so-impressive rehabilitation starts.
I asked it directly more than once. The answer I received from TLR the day before Mulder’s first start was: "When he’s working someplace else, you’re speculating. Whyspeculate any more? Just let him pitch. See what he’s got.
The answer I received from the manager after the start in NY was:
"At some point, you can only rehab so much, whether you’re a hitter or a pitcher. Then it just becomes counterproductive. He put in his time. It was time for him to come to the big leagues and start working from here."
That same night, Dave Duncan said the following, which was the most satisfactory response I’d gotten to date:
"You don’t really evaluate the result when you
make the determination. What you do is you talk to the guy and see how he
feels. You look and see is he doing the things that you want him to be doing?
Which was delivery, arm slot, things like that. And he was doing those things.
The people that watched him pitch felt like he was ready to come up and make a
Today, however, TLR gave what I believe was the most complete explanation of the club’s view about that situation yet. You may agree with the reasoning, and you certainly may disagree. My point in presenting it is certainly not to endorse it, nor to take shots at it. I just felt that it was more enlightening as to the thought process than anything else I’ve heard or read.
(Question: What did you see while he was on the mound last night?)
"He didn’t make any progress. I think what he said, he
doesn’t feel pain, which is something we were feeling good about. But it wasn’t
"I could tell his stuff wasn’t special, and neither was
his location. But he’s had some bullpens where he and Dave (Duncan) and Marty (Mason), or the
catchers, have felt good about it. So that’s why it was worth sending him out
there. Because we saw some good things.
"If leading up to this thing, he was having pain and
didn’t show anything in the bullpen that got you excited, then we’d have
stopped the process. But he had been — the pain wasn’t there from what he was
telling us, and he had times where it was exciting. So that’s why he got the
"He’s significant enough, the potential is there that you
don’t want to guess what if. We gave him two shots and he didn’t look good."