Two-time All-Star Mark Mulder will attempt a comeback to the majors after he thought his playing days were over due to a shoulder injury.
36-year-old Mulder retired in 2009 because two surgeries in 2006 and 2007 on his left shoulder had reduced the effectiveness of his pitching technique.
He began to accept his playing days were over and became an analyst for ESPN in 2011.
However, in October Mulder started to practice a different technique which copied Los Angeles reliever Paco Rodriguez. By chance Mulder caught Rodriguez on TV and thought he could use Rodriguez's technique to get back into action.
The former Michigan State star used November to get back into shape in Phoenix with the help of former catcher Chad Moeller's facilities.
Working out for three undisclosed teams near his home in Scottsdale, scouts claimed his fastball was hitting 90 mph.
Mark Mulder spoke to ESPN on Tuesday and said: "I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am. 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."
The former left-handed pitcher is now hoping to land an audition for spring training camps at major-league clubs and will hope his reputation will help him convince his doubters.
Before his injury, Mulder had separated his hands at his midsection but now tries to raise them to his head.
Mulder became convinced by former Cardinals teammate Kyle Lohse in late October to pursue this new technique when they were pitching together at a birthday party for their daughters.
Mulder said Lohse told him he looked like his former self. He added: "The best way to describe it is, the ball is coming out of my hand better now than at any point when I was in St. Louis."
The pitcher still has two more years with ESPN but will put his broadcasting future on hold while trying to get back into the big time.
Mulder said: "So far everything has been awesome, why not give it a shot?"
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