There are 5 former Blue Jays who have birthdays today. Let’s greet them alphabetically.
Matt Boyd turns 28 today.
Boyd was a left-handed pitching prospect for the Jays. On our 2015 Top 40 Prospect list we had him at #15. He was a lefty who didn’t throw all that hard, but mixed in a breaking ball and a change.
In 2015 he made a a couple of spot starts for us. They didn’t go well. He gave up 4 runs in 6.2 innings against the Rangers, on June 27. Then July 2 he gave up 7 earned without getting an out against the Red Sox.
Then, July 30, Alex traded him, Daniel Norris and Jairo Labourt to the Tigers for David Price. Since then Boyd is 22-33 with a 4.92 ERA in 88 games, 84 starts with Detroit.
He had a pretty good season last year, going 9-13 with a 4.39 ERA in 31 starts. In 170.1 innings he allowed 51 walks and had 159 strikeouts. On the downside he gave up 27 home runs.
Paul Kilgus is 57 today. We picked him up in trade from the Cubs, for Jose Nunez in December 1990.
Kilgus was a lefty pitcher, who had been with the Rangers before the Cubs, putting up a 14-22 record and a 4.15 ERA in 57 games, 44 starts.
He was part of a huge 9-player trade, bringing him over to the Cubs. The Cubs also got lefty relievers Steve Wilson and Mitch Williams and infielder Curt Wilkerson. Jamie Moyer, Drew Hall and a young first baseman named Rafael Palmeiro went to Texas. Palmeiro would go on to hit 569 homers in his career.
I remember thinking he could be a pretty good fifth starter. Unfortunately, Kilgus had an injury filled season with us and was banished to Baltimore after the season. He’d have a season with the Cardinals and then was out of baseball.
Dale Murray turns 69 today.
He played 2 seasons for the Jays, putting up a 2.92 ERA in 67 games, and had 11 saves in 1981 and 1982.
After the 1982 season, he was part of one of the best trades in Jays history. He and Tom Dodd would go to the Yankees for Dave Collins, Fred McGriff and Mike Morgan (and cash). McGriff would become one of the best players in Jays history. And then he was part of the trade that brought us Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter. Teams have been overpaying for relievers for a long time. It is hard to see our path to the World Series without the Murray trade.
Murray would spend 2 seasons, and 3 games of a third, with the Yankees. He had a 4.73 ERA in 62 games, with 1 save. After the Yankees, he played 1 game for the Rangers and was out of baseball.
Travis Snider turns 31 today.
You know the story. He was our top prospect for many years. Baseball Prospectus had him as the 5th best prospect in baseball in 2009, 7th best in 2008 and 40th best in 2007.
He would go on to play parts of 5 seasons with the Jays. In 242 games he hit .248/.306/.429 with 31 homers.
In 2012 he was traded to the Pirates for reliever Brad Lincoln. He played 3 seasons for the Pirates, then was traded to the Orioles. Then went back to the Pirates. Since then he’s been in the Royals, Rangers and Mets systems.
In 8 major league seasons he has a .244/.311/.395 line with 54 homers in 630 games.
The last couple of years he hasn’t been in the majors. He signed a minor league deal with the Diamondbacks this winter. He’s good outfield depth.
Pat Tabler turns 61 today.
Tabler had a 12 year MLB career. He played 1202 games and hit .282/.345/.379 in 1202 games.
His last two seasons were with the Blue Jays, 1991 and 1992, so he owns a World Series ring thanks to his time with us. In those 2 seasons he hit .231/.313/.278 in 131 games, mostly playing first base.
We all know his claim to fame is his batting line with bases loaded. In 109 PA he hit .489/.505/.693 with 2 home runs and 108 RBI. He was good with RISP too, .317/.388/.432.
And now he works for Sportsnet, doing analysis during Jays broadcasts. I’ll admit he’s not my favorite, but I try to remember he’s not there for me, he’s there for the casual fan.
Happy birthday to Matt, Paul, Dale, Travis and Pat. Hope you are all having a great day.