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Happy Birthday Tulo and Lourdes

Houston Astros v Toronto Blue Jays
TORONTO, ON - JULY 8: Troy Tulowitzki #2 of the Toronto Blue Jays makes the play and throws out the baserunner in the ninth inning during MLB game action against the Houston Astros at Rogers Centre on July 8, 2017 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Troy Tulowitzki turns 34 today. I’d have guessed he was older.

You’ll remember, we traded for Tulo back at the trade deadline in 2015. Jose Reyes had fallen out of favor (he says putting it as nicely as he can) and the Jays worked out a big trade to get rid of him.

Now, of course, we’d love to be rid of Tulo’s contract.

It worked out well at the time, We made the playoffs that year and the next. And none of the prospects we sent to Colorado have turned into anything yet.

The last 2 years haven’t gone as well. He’s been injured most of the time, missed all of 2018 and I don’t know if any of us really expect to see him on the field this coming year.

As a Jay he has hit .250/.313/.414 in 238 games, good numbers if he was playing good defense. And if we weren’t paying $20 million a season for it.

We owe Troy $20 million for 2019 and $14 million for 2020. There is an option for 2021 which I’m sure has already been declined.

He played 10 seasons for the Rockies. Hit .299/.371/.513 with 188 home runs in 1048 games. I was at the games in Denver when he played there for the first time after the trade for the Jays. It was nice to see the love the fans had for him.

If he could have a couple of decent, injury free seasons, he would easily make it into the baseball Hall of Fame.

Happy Birthday Troy. Here’s hoping for a healthy 2019.

It is also Lourdes Gurriel Jr’s 25th birthday.

Back in November of 2016, we signed Lourdes to a 7-year, $22 million contract as a free agent coming out of Cuba.

He didn’t have a great 2017 season, hitting .229/.268/.339 in 64 games, split between Dunedin and New Hampshire. I don’t know how much of that you can put off on homesickness.

This year went much better. He hit .301/.330/.466 in 51 games split between New Hampshire and Buffalo.

He got a callup April 20, played in 20 games before being sent back down in the second week of May. He hit .206/.229/.309, with 2 home runs.

He came back up for a game in June. Then up for good in July. He had a great run in July, hitting .423/.438/.648 with 4 home runs in 17 games. He had a streak of 11 multi-hit games, before hurting his knee trying to avoid a tag, and missed 3 weeks.

In all, as a Jay, he hit .281/.309/.446 with 11 home runs.

I’d imagine he would finish second to Ryan Borucki for team Rookie of the Year. It will be interesting to see how his career unfolds.

Happy Birthday Lourdes.

There are a couple of former Jays with birthdays:

  • Francisco Cabrera turns 52 today. We signed Francisco as an amateur free agent, back in 1985. He made it to the Jays in 1989, played 7 games, hit .167/.231/.250. And was traded to the Braves in August with Tony Castillo for Jim Acker.

Cabrera played 193 games over 5 seasons with the Braves, hitting .257/.296/.460. He played in the 1992 World Series against us, getting a good view of the Blue Jays first World Series win.

He, famously, had the game winning hit in the 1992 NLCS against the Pirates. In the 9th inning of game 7 he hit a 2-run single scoring David Justice and Sid Bream. Here is the play:

  • Don Gordon turns 59.

Don was a right-handed pitcher. He made 19 relief appearances in 1986 and 87, with a 6.06 ERA. He was traded to Cleveland with Darryl Landrum for old knuckleball pitcher Phil Niekro. Niekro was 48 at the time. He made 3 starts for us, and then was released.

Happy birthday Francisco and Don.