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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Jeff Mutis, Raked - 834

Check out the revisited Jeff Mutis feature from November 2011: Jeff Mutis, Another Shot

The reporter for the Allentown newspaper couldn't resist. Young Pennsylvania Legion pitcher Jeff Mutis had just allowed two hits and stuck out 10 in a 1-0 playoff win, pitching on two days rest.

But the reporter was still well within his rights in describing Mutis as getting "raked." He gave that outing after suffering a puncture wound to his right foot before the game - after stepping on a rake.

"My foot was swollen and it hurt in the beginning," Mutis told the Sunday Call-Chronicle in July 1984. "My arm is tired but I wanted to finish this game."

It was outings like that that got Mutis noticed. A year later, Mutis found himself drafted by the Indians in the 34th round. He didn't sign, instead opting to go to Lafayette College in Easton, Pa. That served to only interest the scouts more. By 1988, Mutis was drafted again by the Indians, this time in the first round, 27th overall.

He quickly dazzled in Rookie and Single A. In four starts, he had four wins and a 0.65 ERA. He made AA Canton in 1990, staying there for 1991. He made the jump all the way to Cleveland June 15 of that year.

As it turned out, it was too big of a jump, a jump that resulted in Mutis getting raked in the other sense of the word. He started three games, he game up 16 earned runs for a ghastly ERA of 11.68.

For 1992, he was sent to AAA Colorado Springs. On that Colorado Springs squad, he went 9-9 with an ERA that topped 5 at 5.08. But he still helped the club to the Pacific Coast League championship. He was also brought up for three games that year, doing slightly better than the year before. His ERA this time was under 10, at 9.53.

His finest outing came in 1993 on July 17. The left hander pitched a complete game, shutout. He was also the last Indians lefty to pitch a complete game shutout for a decade.

Mutis was done with the majors by 1994, he was claimed off waivers the previous off season by the Marlins, pitching his final game July 31, a week before the strike began. He came back the next year, skipping replacement ball for AAA. He hung on in AAA in St. Louis for 1996, and a couple games for his hometown independent league team in Allentown in 1997, but never returned to the majors.

"I'm not really out to get picked up by a team," he told the Morning Call after joining the Allentown Ambassadors. It was a part time job. He had already started his post-playing career with a computer company. "If I was, I'd be doing this full-time. I'm enjoying what I'm doing - getting my off-the-field career going and spending time with my family - and I'm playing because I like to play."
1990 CMC Tally
Cards Reviewed: 52/880 - 5.9%
Made the Majors: 31 - 60%
Never Made the Majors: 21 - 40%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 12
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 17

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