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Mark DiFelice

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Mark Andrew DiFelice

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Veteran minor league pitcher Mark DiFelice was roughed up in his major league debut on May 18, 2008, pitching for the Milwaukee Brewers at Fenway Park: the Boston Red Sox touched him for three runs on five hits in one inning of work. He pitched a scoreless inning in his second game, four days later. He ended up pitching 15 times in the majors that season, with a record of 1-0, 2.84.

DiFelice pitched for a decade in the minor leagues before making the Show, beginning his career in the Colorado Rockies organization in 1998, and including two stints in the independent Atlantic League in 2005 and 2006. He did well at first, reaching AAA as a starting pitcher by 2001, but his career stalled afterwards. He was released by Colorado after the 2003 season, was converted to bullpen duty by the Baltimore Orioles while pitching for the Ottawa Lynx in 2004, but was released in spite of a fine 9-4, 3.44 record and 70/27 strikeout to walk rate. He was solid as a starter for the Somerset Patriots in 2005, earning a look in the Washington Nationals organization for the second half of the season, but failed miserably by posting an 8.40 ERA at New Orleans.

Back in the Atlantic League in 2006, he went 12-9, 3.19 for the Camden Riversharks. The Milwaukee Brewers signed him for 2007 and he breezed through the AA Southern League, posting a 1.62 ERA for the Huntsville Stars. That earned him a promotion to AAA Nashville, where back in the starting rotation, he went 4-2 with a 3.10 ERA in 10 starts. He started 2008 in Nashville, before finally getting the call to the Big Leagues on May 15th when David Riske went on the disabled list; he had gone 3-0 in four starts at that point.

In 2009, he was selected to play for the Italian national baseball team for the 2009 World Baseball Classic. He started Italy's opening game against Venezuela on March 7th and pitched four scoreless innings against the powerful Latin American lineup. He then spent the entire 2009 season with the Brewers and did very well as a middle reliever. In 59 games, he pitched 51 2/3 innings with a 3.66 ERA only issuing 15 walks - of which 6 were intentional - against 48 strikeouts. He then missed all of 2010 with an injury, and was back in the minors to start 2011. He pitched well in AAA, going 2-1, 2.17 in 17 games for Nashville and returned to Milwaukee on June 19th. He pitched only three times for the Brewers, giving up 4 runs in 3 innings before being felled by an injury once again. It was the end of his professional career.

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