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Happy Birthday Teoscar Hernandez

Tampa Bay Rays v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images

Teoscar Hernandez turns 27 today.

The good news is that he’s just hitting the prime years for a ball player.

I really said everything I wanted to say about Teoscar back here. Poor timing to post it the day before his birthday.

He had a 102 wRC+ this year. I’m hoping to see a nice bump from that. The glove isn’t good, and I’m doubting it will ever be good, but maybe the bat will turn out to be special.

Last year I said that this would be an important year for Teoscar, that he would either prove himself to be part of the future of the team or he gets passed by with all the prospects we have in the system. Unfortunately, the wave of prospects didn’t include outfielders (or outfielders that the team wants to use) other than Lourdes Gurriel. So Lourdes likely gets another season to prove he belongs.

I still think he either learns to play defense, or he hits well enough to DH or he won’t be a part of the team going forward.

Happy Birthday Teoscar. I hope it is a good one.

Carlos Garcia turns 52 today.

Carlos, you might remember, had one disastrous season with us. Back in November 1996 the Jays traded for Garcia, Orlando Merced and Dan Plasac from Pirates. We sent them Brandon Cromer, Jose Pett and Jose Silva and then December sent them Mike Halperin, Abraham Nunez and Craig Wilson to complete the deal. Have I mentioned I was never a fan of Jays GM Gord Ash?

In 1997 he hit a .220/.253/.309 in 103 games, playing mostly second base. He had 3 homers, 29 runs, 23 RBI and 11 steals. To make matters worse he didn’t even play great defense for us and we payed him a big $2.55 million for that season. By WAR values that was as bad a season as any non-pitcher had ever had for the Jays.

After the season he signed with the Angels as a free agent and hit just .143 in 40 at bats with them, then he went to San Diego doing no better and then he was out of baseball.

He really only had one decent season in the majors, hitting .269/.316/.399 as a rookie for the Pirates. He had 12 homers and 47 RBI in 1993, so it is hard to see what the Jays thought they were getting.

Of the guys we sent to the Pirates:

Craig Wilson went on to have a pretty decent MLB career. He played for 7 seasons, 6 with the Pirates, hit .262/.353/.474 with 99 home runs. His best season was 2004. He played 155 games, hit .264/.354/.499 with 29 home runs.

Abraham Nunez played 12 seasons, 8 with the Pirates. He hit .242/.313/.314 in 1030 games, mostly has a utility infielder.

Jose Silva pitched in 7 MLB seasons. He finished with a 25-28 record and a 5.41 ERA in 154 games, 53 starts.

Anyway, Happy Birthday Carlos.

Chad Mottola turns 48 today.

Chad was an outfielder. He only played a handful of MLB games, 59 spread over 5 seasons. 13 of them were with the Blue Jays.

But he was a long time minor leaguer. His last season in the minors was 2007, playing in Triple A for the Jays (hitting .267/.324/.467), but at 35 he was transitioning to coaching.

In 2008 he became the Gulf Coast League Jays hitting coach. He became the roving minor league hitting coach in 2009 and then the hitting coach for the Triple A Las Vegas 51s from 2010 to 2012. He was the winner of the Bobby Mattick Award for ‘excellence in player development’ in 2011.

For 2013 he was promoted to the Jays. And then was fired at the end of the season. One year he was considered a miracle worker, the next he’s fired. The life of a coach.

The Rays hired him and he was the roving instructor for them. In 2017 he became their major league hitting coach. We saw him on the bench in the ALDS.