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Happy Birthday Teoscar Hernandez

And Carlos Garcia and Chad Mottola

American League Wild Card Series: Seattle Mariners v. Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Thomas Skrlj/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Teoscar Hernandez turns 31 today.

We had no idea he would become such a slugger when he came over from the Astros.

He had a .263/.320/.503 with 129 home runs in six seasons with the Jays. He’s 12th on the Jays all-time list for home runs and 22nd on our RBI list.

The trade to the Mariners surprised me. But Erik Swanson was excellent in the pen for us this year. And Adam Macko had 106 strikeouts in 86 innings for the Vancouver Canadians this year (yeah, the 40 walks aren’t great). There might be something there.

Teoscar is a free agent this winter. He hit .258/.305/.435 with 26 home runs, with a 2.1 WAR for the Mariners this year. Some team will be offering him a contract.

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

Carlos Garcia turns 56 today.

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

In 1997 he hit a .220/.253/.309 in 103 games, playing primarily 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 paid him a hefty $2.55 million for that season. By WAR, 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. Then, he went to San Diego, doing no better and was out of baseball.

He only had one decent season in the majors, hitting .269/.316/.399 as a rookie for the Pirates. However, 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 decent MLB career. He played for 7 seasons, 6 with the Pirates, and hit .262/.353/.474 with 99 home runs. His best season was 2004. He played 155 games and 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 as 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 52 today.

Chad was an outfielder. He only played a handful of MLB games, 59 spread over five seasons. 13 of the games 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 the hitting coach for the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s from 2010 to 2012. He won the Bobby Mattick Award for ‘excellence in player development’ in 2011.

In 2013, he was promoted to the Jays. And then Chad was fired at the end of the season. So, 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 their roving instructor for them. Then, in 2017, he became their major league hitting coach and is still there.

Happy Birthday, Chad.