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Happy Birthday Colby Rasmus

And Melky Cabrera

Tampa Bay Rays v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Colby Rasmus turns 37 today.

Colby was a first-round pick in 2005, 28th in all. We picked Ricky Romero 6th.

He was on Baseball America’s top 100 prospects three years in a row. #29 in 2007, #5 in 2008 and #3 in 2009.

In 2009 Colby made it to the majors, hitting .251/.307/.407 with 16 home runs, picking up a few Rookie of the Year votes along the way. Then, Colby had a really good 2010 season, hitting 276/.361/.498 with 23 home runs, getting a 4.3 bWAR. It looked like he was becoming the player the prospects list suggested he would become.

2011 didn’t go quite as well. Rasmus was hitting 246/.332/.420 and not getting along with manager Tony La Russa. La Russa, a rather fast-talking, “genius” manager, wasn’t a slow-talking Southerner fan. And, I often said, Colby was a square peg in baseball’s round-hole world.

On July 27th, the Blue Jays made two multi-player trades. One with the White Sox bringing Edwin Jackson and Mark Teahen to the Jays.

The second was a more significant trade with the Cardinals, sending Jackson, Octavio Dotel, Corey Patterson, and Marc Rzepczynski to St. Louis for Colby, Trever Miller, Brian Tallet, and P.J. Walters. The Cardinals wanted to shore up their bullpen, and Jackson filled out their rotation (and they won the World Series that year, so I’m sure they are happy with the deal). Add in that La Russa wanted Rasmus out of his sight. The Jays wanted a young player with a ton of upside.

I asked DanUpBaby from Viva El Birdos for a scouting report. In it, he said:


He never lived up to expectations with us. 2013 was pretty good; he hit .276/.338/.501 with 22 home runs in 118 games. But, for the most part, he was inconsistent, dealt with nagging injuries, and struck out too much.

His 2014 season didn’t go well. He wasn’t happy. He said:

I’ve lost a little bit of that drive just because so many people are always just poking and prodding at me. And I felt, at times, like an animal at the zoo. You know, you keep poking at it until, one day, they bite back at you.

He was pretty obviously depressed. Like many, he seemed to have issues with his parents, or, at least, his dad. I’m not a fan of blaming parents, but most of us hear our parents in our heads when we do things. So after he left the team, I said:

We all have those voices in our heads telling us we aren’t good enough. Most of us learn to get past, ignore, and get on with life. Some use it to drive them to do better, “I’ll show them”. Colby doesn’t seem to be able to do that. He remembers all the little insults and carries them with him. He still talks about his troubles with Tony LaRussa, it is easy to say he should get past it, but he can’t.

He played a couple of seasons with the Astros. Then he started the 2017 season with the Rays but left them to go home. Then he began the 2018 season with the Orioles but, again, left to go home. This time it stuck.

I liked him. He occasionally let us in on his personality. On the ‘winter tour,’ he looked like he was having fun. I enjoyed those moments he smiled. The little profile shows his condo and him stopping for a chicken hot dog. The various hairdos I didn’t like.

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

Melky Cabrera turns 39 today.

Melky spent two seasons of a 15-year MLB career with the Jays. He hit .293/.340/.421 in 227 games as a Blue Jay.

We were a little disappointed with his play as a Jay. He was slow. His defense in the outfield left some to be desired. Late we found out that there was a tumour wrapped around his spine which hindered him a fair bit. He had a few injuries in his time in Toronto.

Career ht hit.285/.334/.417 with 144 home runs in 15 seasons with the Yankees, White Sox, Royal, Jays, Pirates, Giants, Braves and Cleveland.

Happy Birthday, Melky.

Mike Huff turns 60 today.

Huff was with the Jays for three seasons (1994-1996) at the end of a seven-year MLB career.

He had one good year (.304/.382/.449) with 3 home runs in 80 games and two poor years (.232/.337/.333 and .172/.200/.241).

I remember the good year and think of him fondly.

Happy Birthday, Mike.

Drew Storen turns 36 today.

We traded Ben Revere to the Nationals for Drew before the 2016 season and, well it didn't go well. He had a 6.21 ERA when we traded him to the Mariners for Joaquin Benoit (which didn’t go that much better).

Besides his few months with the Jays, he was a pretty good reliever, earning 99 saves in 8-year career.

Happy Birthday Drew.