Dec 28, 2015

Early 2000's Italian / American Mets Pitcher: Jeff D'Amico (2002)

Jeffrey Charles D’Amico was born December 27, 1975 in St. Petersburg Florida. The tall six foot seven right hander was known as “Big Daddy".

He was the Milwaukee Brewers first round draft pick (23rd overall) in the 1992 draft. D'Amico went 13-3 with a 2.39 ERA in his first minor league season at A ball Beloit. He came up to the Brewers rotation in June of 1986, making his first start against the Texas Rangers pitching 5.2 scoreless innings for the win.

As a rookie he went 6-6 with a 5.44 ERA on the season. He earned a spot in the following year’s rotation where he went 9-7, third most wins on the staff with a 4.71 ERA.

Injuries set him back over the next two seasons, but he returned in 2000 to win 12 games (12-7) topps of the Brewers staff along with Jimmy Haynes, posting a 2.66 ERA (third best in the AL). He walked only 46 batters in 162 innings pitched, giving him the fourth best strike out ratio in the AL. In 2001 he was expected to lead the Brewers staff but had a huge letdown as arm trouble set him back to pitch in only ten games.

In January of 2002 he was part of a three -team trade going to the New York Mets with Jeromy Burnitz, Lou Collier, & Mark Sweeney for Lenny Harris and Glendon Rusch. (The Mets also sent Benny Agbayani & Todd Zeile to Colorado for Ross Gload & Craig House. The Rockies sent Alex Ochoa to Milwaukee.)

In New York D’Amico debuted as the team's fifth starter on April 6th earning no decision at Atlanta against the Braves. He won his next start pitching eight shutout innings at Shea Stadium against the Montreal Expos striking out eight. On May 15th he pitched the game of his career, it was against the Los Angeles Dodgers, at Dodger Stadium.

He tossed a two hit shutout striking out eight batters in the Mets 2-0 win over Kaz Ishii. At the end of May he was at .500 with a 4-4 record but then lost four straight decisions. He never regained top form losing six of seven & ending the year pitching in relief. 

On the season he went 6-10 with a 4.94 ERA, 101 strikeouts in 145 innings, while again showing good control walking only 37 batters. D'Amico made 22 starts in 29 appearances. In October he was granted free agency & signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

In 2003 he led the NL in losses (16) going 9-16 with a 4.77 ERA and was released. He pitched seven games for the Cleveland Indians in 2004 (1-2) before retiring that season.

Lifetime in his ten year career he went 45-52 with a 4.61 ERA, 498 strike outs, walking only 221 batters in 784 innings in 139 games pitched (131 starts).

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