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Blue Jays Birthdays: Aaron Loup, Vinnie Chulk

Plus Tom Wilson, Tom Lawless, Jason Kershner and Jose Silva

Kansas City Royals v Toronto Blue Jays

Aaron Loup turns 35 today.

Aaron is a lefty sidearm pitcher the Jays drafted in the 9th round of the 2009 MLB draft.

He made it up to the majors in mid-July 2012 and pitched in 33 games with a 2.64 ERA.

Aaron’s first three seasons with the Jays were pretty terrific. He pitched in 168 games, had a 2.77 ERA, struck out 130 batters, walking 45 in 168.2 innings.

The next couple of seasons didn’t go as well. He had ERAs of 4.46 and 5.02 in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

Loup had a bounce-back year in 2017, with a 3.75 ERA in 70 games. John Gibbons finally figured out that Loup was a LOOGY and should be used that way. 2018 didn’t go quite as well. He had a 4.54 ERA in 50 games when the team traded him to the Phillies for Jacob Waguespack.

Since then, he’s pitched for the Padres, Rays, Mets and, last year, the Angels. In 2021, with the Mets, he had a 0.95 ERA in 65 appearances, which got him a 2-year (plus an option), $17 million contract with the Angels.

With the Jays, he pitched in 360 games and had a 3.47 ERA with 6 saves and 53 holds.

Being a sidearmer, he has large splits, holding lefties to a .225/.297/.305, while right-handers have had a .254/.326/.399 line against him in his career.

Jays' fans didn’t universally love Aaron. He had his ups and downs and had an unfortunate tendency to hit batters at the worst moment. But then, with the smaller sample sizes relievers get, it is harder to have consistent numbers.

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

Vinnie Chulk turns 44 today. A Baseball Reference search shows that he’s the only Vinnie in Jays’ history (his given name is Charles Vincent).

The Jays drafted Vinnie in the 12th round of the 2000 draft.

He came up for a ‘cup of coffee’ at the end of the 2003 season, and he stayed with us until he was traded to the Giants (along with Shea Hillenbrand) for Jeremy Accardo.

For the Jays, he pitched in 132 games, all as a reliever, and had a 4.40 ERA, 2 saves, and 32 holds.

He’d spend three seasons with the Giants, one in Cleveland, and got into 7 games with the Brewers (because all former Jays have to play with the Brewers) in 2012.

In all, Vinnie had a 4.51 ERA in 259 games.

Happy Birthday, Vinnie.

Jason Kershner turns 46 today.

We picked up Kerchner off waivers from the Padres in 2002. He’d pitch in 89 games, with 2 starts, over three seasons, with a 3.86 ERA.

After the 2004 season he pitched in the minor league systems of the Red Sox, Padres, Brewers, Reds, Phillies, and Mariners but never made it back to the majors.

Happy Birthday, Jason.

Tom Wilson turns 52 today.

A right-handed hitting catcher, he played two seasons with the Jays. In 192 games, he hit .257/.333/.388 with 13 home runs.

We lost him off waivers to the Padres after the 2003 season. He’d play a handful of games with the Mets, Dodgers and, before the Jays, A’s. And then, he went on to be the lead singer for the Canadian rock band Junkhouse.

Happy Birthday, Tom.

Tom Lawless turns 66 today.

He had an eight-year career in the MLB as a utility infielder. The last two of those seasons were with the Jays.

He played in 74 games with the Jays, hitting .207/.267/.200. Career he hit .207/.263/.258 with 2 home runs and 53 steals.

Happy Birthday, Tom.

Jose Silva turns 49 today.

Jose was a fifth-round draft pick in 1991 by the Jays. He pitched in 2 games for us in 1996. Then he was traded to the Pirates (along with Brandon Cromer, Mike Halperin, Abraham Nunez, Craig Wilson (who turned out of the star of the deal) and Jose Pett) for Carlos Garcia, Orlando Merced and Dan Plesac.

Silva would go on to play 7 seasons in the MLB, with a 25-28 record in 154 games, 54 starts, and a 5.41 ERA.

Happy Birthday. Jose.