Angels' Mulder tears Achilles tendon
Mulder last pitched in the majors in 2008 for St. Louis. The 36-year-old left-hander was hoping to make the Angels' rotation after being invited in January to spring training, but team spokesman Eric Kay said Mulder felt a pop during agility drills.
Mulder will wait for the swelling to go down before surgery is scheduled. He then faces a six- to eight-month recovery, meaning his career could be over.
"I can handle this," Mulder wrote on Twitter. "But seeing my son in tears when he saw me in a boot and crutches and I told him I wasn't going to pitch. That was tough."
Mulder won 103 games over nine major league seasons with Oakland and St. Louis, including a 21-win season in 2001. He struggled with arm injuries and had surgery over his final two campaigns with the Cardinals, throwing his most recent major league pitch on July 9, 2008.
Mulder had been working as a television analyst and was trying to make a comeback after retooling his delivery.
He sounded optimistic that he would make the team when pitchers and catchers reported on Friday.
"I've worked hard and what I'm doing right now is good," Mulder said. "I know it's working and I'm excited for the opportunity."
Now, a career that was derailed by two shoulder operations could be finished for good after this injury. It was cruel and somewhat fitting for a pitcher who dominated early in his career but was sidelined for much of the latter part.
Mulder's best season was his second in 2001, when he went 21-8 with a 3.45 ERA while anchoring a dominant rotation with Barry Zito and Tim Hudson. He followed that up by winning 19, 15 and 17 games for Oakland the next three years and then going 16-8 for St. Louis in 2005. But his career got derailed after that. He made just 26 starts and won six games from 2006-08, posting a 7.73 ERA during that time.
Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press
This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index
MORE MLB HEADLINES
- Cards 3B Carpenter signs $52 million deal
- Royals name Shields as Opening Day starter
- Cardinals' Garcia to see Dr. Andrews again
- No extra replay in place for Australia games
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
- Majestic Men's Replica St. Louis Cardinals Light Blue Cooperstown Jersey
- MLB Home
- AL East
- Baltimore Orioles
- Boston Red Sox
- New York Yankees
- Tampa Bay Rays
- Toronto Blue Jays
- AL Central
- Chicago White Sox
- Cleveland Indians
- Detroit Tigers
- Kansas City Royals
- Minnesota Twins
- AL West
- Houston Astros
- Los Angeles Angels
- Oakland Athletics
- Seattle Mariners
- Texas Rangers
- Fantasy: Sign up!
- Spring blog