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Sunday, July 2, 2023

Ron Mullins used strategy to get key out in 1988 single-A save; Saw six seasons, made AA

Ron Mullins 1990 Peninsula Pilots card, Mullins with glove

Greensboro reliever Ron Mullins pulled off his 12th save of the 1988 campaign that July as he got a key hitter out on a high fastball, The Greensboro News & Record wrote.

Afterward, Mullins explained to The News & Record how he did it.

"After falling behind 2-0, you got to come in there with a strike," Mullins told The News & Record. "He's a free swinger and you don't want to give him anything too good. At 3-2, I just wanted to throw a strike."

Mullins went on to save 19 for the single-A squad that year. He then briefly made AA the next year. Overall, he saw six pro seasons and topped out there at AA.

Mullins' career began in 1985, signed by the Reds as a free agent out of his native Ashland, Ky. 

Mullins started with the Reds in the rookie Gulf Coast League. He went 2-1, with a 3.12 ERA over 15 outings, eight starts.

He moved to rookie Billings for 1986 and saw 26 relief outings. He picked up seven saves and two wins, ending with a 4.33 ERA.

For 1987, he arrived at single-A Cedar Rapids. In 34 relief outings, he had two saves and a 3-1 record. He picked up his first win in relief in a June game. Reds manager Paul Kirsch complemented his starter to The Cedar Rapids Gazette, then turned to Mullins.

"And then Mullins came in and threw the hell out of the ball," Kirsch told The Gazette.

Mullins made Greensboro for 1988, getting those 19 saves. For 1989, he saw AA Chattanooga for nine outings, one start. He went 0-2, with a 5.64 ERA. He played the rest of the year at single-A Miami, going 1-8, with a 6.40 ERA in 26 outings, four starts. 

For 1990, he moved to the Mariners and high-A Peninsula. He went 2-5 there, with a 5.57 ERA in 35 outings, three starts to end his career.

Ron Mullins 1990 Peninsula Pilots card, Mullins with glove

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,186
Made the Majors:1,378-32.9%
Never Made Majors:2,808-67.1%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:560
10+ Seasons in the Minors:344

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