There are five former Blue Jays who have birthdays today.
First, Matthew Boyd turns 31 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 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.
July 30, Alex traded him, Daniel Norris, and Jairo Labourt to the Tigers for David Price. Since then, Boyd is 34-52 with a 4.98 ERA in 132 games, 128 starts with Detroit.
Matthew had a tough 2020 (many of us did), going 3-7 with a 6.71 ERA in 12 starts. He led the AL with 15 home runs allowed and 45 earned runs.
Paul Kilgus is 60 today. We picked him up in a 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 big 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 Kilgus could be a pretty good fifth starter for us. Unfortunately, Kilgus had an injury-filled season, and they banished him to Baltimore after the season. He’d have a season with the Cardinals and then was out of baseball.
Dale Murray turns 72 today.
He played two 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. So it is hard to see our path to the World Series without the Murray trade.
Murray would spend two seasons, plus three games of a third, with the Yankees. He had a 4.73 ERA in 62 games, with 1 save. After the Yankees, he played one game for the Rangers and was out of baseball.
Murray played in the majors for 12 seasons, with six teams, Expos, Reds, Mets, Expos again, Jays, Yankees, and Rangers. In total, he had a 3.95 ERA in 518 games, just 1 start and had 60 saves.
Travis Snider turns 34 today.
You know the story. Travis 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 they sent him to the Orioles. Then went back to the Pirates. Since then, he’s been in the Royals, Rangers, Mets, Diamondbacks, Marlins and Braves systems.
In 8 major league seasons, he has a .244/.311/.395 line with 54 homers in 630 games. He recently announced his retirement.
I think of him in much the same way I think of Dalton Pompey. The team thought or knew something about them that we didn’t. They did or didn’t do something that the team didn’t like. Neither seemed to get an extended chance with the team, while other players seem to get several opportunities. Somewhere there is an alternate universe with Snider and Pompey playing the outfield for us.
Pat Tabler turns 64 today.
Tabler had a 12 year MLB career. He played 1202 games and hit .282/.345/.379 in 1202 games. Unfortunately, I thought he was overrated as a player. He had a 3.1 bWAR total in those 12 years and didn’t have the power you would like from a first baseman/left fielder.
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 two seasons, he hit .231/.313/.278 in 131 games, primarily playing first base. Those aren’t the numbers you want to see from a first baseman.
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.
I don’t know what the plan is for the TV broadcast team is for the coming season (presuming there will be a coming season). I don’t think they have announced whether Buck and Pat are coming back, but I’d imagine they will, in some combination with Dan Shulman.
Happy birthday to Matt, Paul, Dale, Travis, and Pat. I hope you all have a great day.