Mark Mulder Expectations


It seems as though the Mark Mulder situation has many Cardinal fans feeling uneasy.  As we all know, Mulder’s return date of opening day was already pushed back to May 1st.  Now, that date seems unlikely.  Mark has yet to start throwing off a mound, and has only been throwing at a distance of 45 feet.  He says he feels good, but is reluctant to set a timetable for his return.

“Estimates did good for me last year, huh?” Mulder said Monday.  “People can put a date on it if they want.  My body and my arm will tell me when they’re ready.”

Read the full story here.

What can we expect from Mulder in 2008?  It’s nearly impossible to predict how he’ll perform, and projections get tricky for pitchers that missed so much time.  Mulder only made three big league starts in ’07 after pitching about a half season in ’06.

Here’s what the projections from ZIPS and Bill James look like:

W      L      GS     IP     ERA

ZIPS                 7     11      24    144    5.06

Bill James        7      9      23    143    4.34

Fangraphs has the entire projection lines, along with his career stats here.

Are these numbers realistic?  Was Mulder’s 7.69 ERA over the last two years due only to him pitching hurt? We can only hope.  Every Cardinal fan has been waiting to see the “old” Mark Mulder since he arrived in St. Louis in 2005 (His ’05 numbers would have been the best on the staff last season).  He says he’s never been a whole pitcher as a Cardinal and still hopes to show fans what he can do.  What’s your opinion?  Cast your vote in the poll question in the sidebar, and as always, comments are welcome.