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Mulder expects to be ready soon

Mulder expects to be ready soon
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Despite struggling in his fourth rehab start, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Mark Mulder expects to rejoin the rotation when his 30-day rehab assignment is over later this month.

The 30-year-old left-hander allowed nine runs, seven earned, in 3 2-3 innings while pitching for Triple-A Memphis on Wednesday.

He said his arm felt good but his pitches were just off, and that his struggles were no big deal. Five days earlier, he had been pleased with his outing for Double-A Springfield.

"You know what? This is my spring training," Mulder said. "People can freak out about the numbers but I didn't. It's going to be a little up and down and the bottom line is I feel real good.

"I'm not trying to look too deep into this, I'm not going out there trying to punch out 10 and go seven shutout innings."

Mulder was happy with a bullpen session on Friday and is scheduled for another rehab outing on Monday, probably again pitching for Memphis. He began the rehab assignment on April 15, and is confident 30 days will be enough.

The alternative would be a return to extended spring training. He'll get two more rehab starts before the assignment ends.

"I don't foresee that it would be a problem," Mulder said. "But we've got to wait and see how things go, see how I feel. I don't want it to go on longer than that."

Last year, Mulder was 0-3 with a 12.27 ERA in three September starts before having a second shoulder operation. The team's timetable has been for a May start, while telling Mulder not to rush anything, which might have been the case last year.

"This year he's buying into it, he's not trying to be a teammate that gets there when we need him before he's ready," manager Tony La Russa said. "We're depending on him.

"You're going to tell me a healthy Mark Mulder isn't a plus for our club? Absolutely."

Mulder won 16 games in 2005, his first season with St. Louis, despite the onset of shoulder problems that have limited him to 20 highly ineffective starts the past two years. From 2001-05, he won 15 or more games every season.

Another injured pitcher, right-hander Brad Thompson, had a cortisone injection for an inflamed elbow on Thursday and is expected to resume activities this weekend. Thompson was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Monday, retroactive to April 23.

He had been demoted to the minors to make room for infielder Brendan Ryan before the team was made aware of the injury, which voided the move.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: May 3, 2008

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