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Happy Birthday Troy Tulowitzki and Lourdes Gurriel

Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Troy Tulowitzki turns 35 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.

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 2017 and 2018 didn’t go as well. Troy was injured most of the time, missed all of 2018.

As a Jay, he 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 released him December 11, 2018. and he was signed by the Yankees a month later. When he hit a spring training home run off Marcus Stroman, my Twitter was full of people wondering how we could have released him. I suggested they wait. He played 5 games for the Yankees, went on the IL, and when he was healthy again, the Yankees told him to stay home. He has since announced his retirement.

I think his time in Toronto would have gone a lot better if it wasn’t for the bad ankle injury suffered trying to beat out a ground ball when he stepped on the side of C.J. Cron’s foot on the bag, on July 28, 2017. It was one of the most painful-looking injuries I’ve ever seen on the baseball field. Between that and bone spurs, the rest of 2017 and all of 2018.

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 Jays trade. It was nice to see the love the fans had for him.

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

Watching him make a throw on the run, well, it was a thing of beauty.

Happy Birthday, Troy. I hope it is a good one.

It is Lourdes Gurriel Jr’s 27th birthday.

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.

2018 went 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.

He missed about half of 2019 with injuries. When he did play, he hit .277/.327/.541 with 20 home runs in 84 games. At that rate, if he could have played the full season, he could have been close to 40 home runs.

This past season he played in 57 games, hitting .308/.348/.534 with 11 home runs.

It looks like he will be our left fielder for years to come. Sometimes I think he could show a little more hustle in the field, but he has a great arm.

Happy Birthday Lourdes.

There are a couple of former Jays with birthdays:

Francisco Cabrera turns 54 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 61.

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.