Mark Mulder’s comeback attempt has ended before it really began.
The pitcher suffered a rupture of his left Achilles’ tendon during an agility drill Saturday morning in Angels camp in Tempe, Ariz., and is out for the season.
General manager Jerry Dipoto confirmed the injury, which occurred just before Mulder was scheduled to throw his first bullpen session.
The former A’s and Cardinals lefthander, 36, had shoulder surgeries in 2006 and 2007, and hadn’t pitched since July 2008.
Mulder posted on his Twitter account, “I can handle this. 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.”
Tanaka in running
As dozens of cameras recorded his every move and perhaps 150 media watched on a cool and breezy morning, Masahiro Tanaka of Japan slowly jogged four laps on the warning track around a back field following his first official workout with the Yankees Saturday in Tampa.
The $155 million man looked gassed. He may pitch great, but Tanaka clearly was not born to run. ‘‘I actually didn’t know I was going to run this much,’’ he said through a translator. ‘‘And I'm a little bit of a slow runner. But that part I really can’t help.’’
The 25-year-old righthander jogged onto the field with Hiroki Kuroda and played catch with his 39-year-old countryman, who is preparing for his seventh US season.
Tigers ace Justin Verlander threw 41 pitches in his first official bullpen session of spring training in Lakeland, Fla. Verlander is recovering from surgery on his abdomen in early January . . . The Cubs signed speedy utilityman Emilio Bonifacio to a minor league deal. Last season with the Blue Jays and Royals, Bonifacio hit .243 and stole 28 bases . . . The Mariners and first baseman Justin Smoak avoided arbitration by agreeing on a contract for the 2014 season with a club option for 2015. Smoak will earn $2,637,500 this season and could get $3.65 million next season . . . Nationals manager Matt Williams said he expects Bryce Harper to be fully recovered from offseason knee surgery when the slugger reports to spring training next week . . . Phillies slugger Ryan Howard, plagued the last two seasons by Achilles’ and knee injuries, said he’s optimistic about this season because he has lost weight and can ‘‘use two legs.’’
Harang gets a shot
The Indians signed righthander Aaron Harang to a minor league deal and invited him to camp in Goodyear, Ariz. The 35-year-old Harang went 5-11 with a 5.76 earned run average for the Mariners last season. After being released, he signed with the Mets and went 0-1 in four starts . . . The Indians improved to 2-0 in salary arbitration cases this year, defeating pitcher Josh Tomlin. The 29-year-old righthander will receive $800,000 this year rather than his request for $975,000. Cleveland defeated pitcher Vinnie Pestano last weekend in the Indians’ first arbitration hearing since 1991 . . . Giants righthander Tim Hudson, recovering from a fractured right ankle, said he will be ready for his first regular-season start on time . . . Hall of Famer Hank Aaron is recovering from a partial left hip replacement. The Braves said the 80-year-old Aaron fell on ice Friday and had the procedure later in the day. The team said a full recovery is expected.