Erik Hanson turns 58 today.
Hanson was the Mariners 2nd round pick of the 1986 draft. He made it to the majors in 1988 and spent six pretty good seasons with the M’s with a 56-54 3.69 ERA in 145 games and 143 starts.
Before the 1994 season, Seattle traded to the Reds. In the lockout-shortened year, Hanson had an ok season there (5-5, 4.11 in 21 starts). Erik then signed as a free agent with the Red Sox and had a good season with a 15-5 record and a 4.24 ERA in 29 starts, making the All-Star team.
That caught GM Gord Ash’s attention, who signed him to a big (for the day) free-agent contract, three years and $9.4 million.
As with many of Ash’s moves, it didn’t go well. Not that it was all Gord’s fault, injuries caused Erik’s troubles, but it was a lot of money for a guy who had been pretty average throughout his career and was into his 30s. And Ash seemed to be a magnet for pitchers who had or were about to have arm troubles. Of course, teams are much more careful with physicals before signing or trading for pitchers than they were back then, or at least more cautious than Ash ever was.
His first Jays season was a disappointment. He went 13-17 in 35 starts. Injuries ruined the next two seasons. He made 14 appearances, 10 starts, over the two years, with a 6.61 ERA. He had a 5.68 ERA with a 13-20 record in 49 games in the three seasons with the Jays.
He made a list of 10 worst seasons for Blue Jays pitchers that Mike Bates wrote for us.
10) Erik Hanson, 1996: 13-17, 5.41 ERA (93 ERA+), 102 BB, 156 K, 214.2 IP, 1.607 WHIP.
Hanson signed a three-year deal with the Jays in December of 1995, coming off an All-Star campaign with the Red Sox, but things quickly disintegrated after a solid debut. Hanson gave up at least four runs in each of his next seven starts and never found his groove. His walk rate jumped by 36 percent, his home run rate rose, and his strikeout percentage dropped. Later, we discovered Erik had been pitching with a torn labrum all season. Hanson tried to come back in 1997 and 1998 and threw 64 innings across the two seasons but wound up hurting his elbow and retired.
And he is also on a list of worst Blue Jays free agent signings on CBC.ca.
Cito was never gentle with his starting pitchers, but running a guy out there for 200+ innings with a ‘torn labrum’ was a kind of an extreme example.
After the Blue Jays released him, he signed with the Angels and then with the Royals but never pitched in the majors again.
Happy birthday, Erik. I hope it is a good one.
And there are a handful of guys who didn’t play much for the Blue Jays who had birthdays.
Joakim Soria turns 39 today.
You’ll remember him. We picked him up at the trade deadline in 2021 from the Diamondbacks. He made ten appearances for the Jays and had a 7.88 ERA (funny, my memory had him worse than that). He had 1 blown save and 2 holds. The Jays released him at the end of the season.
That was last year, the end of his 14-year MLB career. He played for nine teams and pitched in 773 games (making 1 start as an opener), with a 3.11 ERA and 229 saves.
Jared Hoying turns 34 today.
Hoying played two games for us last year, and if you remember anything about him, you are a better man than me.
Drew Carpenter turns 38 today.
Drew pitched 9 innings for us in 2012 after we took him off waivers from the Padres.
He threw 33.1 major league innings in his career.
Adam Peterson turns 44 today.
Adam pitched 2.2 innings for us in 2004.
He was traded to the Diamondbacks for Shea Hillenbrand but didn’t pitch for them.
Happy Birthday, Joakim, Jared, Drew and Adam.