Happy Birthday–January 2

Red Kress (1905)
Pinky Whitney (1905)
Ted Strong (1914)
Jim Essian (1951)
Bill Madlock (1951)
David Cone (1963)
Edgar Martinez (1963)

Greg Swindell (1965)
Royce Clayton (1970)
Rick Greene (1971)
Jeff Suppan (1975)
Aaron Barrett (1988)
Felix Jorge (1994)

Ted Strong was a star in the Negro Leagues, making the all-star team seven times.
Aaron Barrett was drafted by Minnesota in the 20th round in 2008 but did not sign.

Left-hander Forest Gregory Swindell was a Twin for roughly a season and a half in the late 1990s. A native of Ft. Worth, he attended the University of Texas and was chosen by Cleveland with the second pick of the 1986 draft. Swindell made three starts for Class A Waterloo and was immediately promoted to the big leagues and placed in the Indians' starting rotation. He struggled some early on, and was injured for the second half of 1987, but put things together in 1988, winning 18 games with a 3.20 ERA. That was arguably the best season he would ever have as a starter, but he had some other good ones, making the all-star team for the only time of his career in 1989. Swindell remained in the Cleveland rotation through 1991, then was traded to Cincinnati for one year. He had a fine 1992 for the Reds, became a free agent, and signed with Houston. It seemed as if everything was coming together for Swindell: a 28-year-old pitcher coming off a good year going to the best pitcher's park in baseball. Instead, he went backward. He wasn't awful as an Astro, but he was not what they expected him to be, either, posting ERAs in the low-to-mid-fours over three seasons. He got off to a bad start in 1996, was sent to the bullpen, and then was released in early June. He finished the season back with Cleveland, then became a free agent again and signed with Minnesota for 1997. His days as a starter were over, but he was a valuable member of the Twins' bullpen. He made 117 appearances for Minnesota, pitching 182 innings. He went 10-7, 3.61 with three saves, a WHIP of 1.16 and an ERA+ of 129. At the end of July, 1998, with the Twins once again far from the pennant race, Swindell was traded to Boston with Orlando Merced for Joe Thomas, John Barnes, and Matt Kinney. He continued to be a valuable reliever, first for the Red Sox and then, after becoming a free agent after the 1998 season, for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He had three solid seasons for Arizona. Then, in 2002, he battled injuries and decided to retire after the season, having pitched in the majors for 17 seasons. Greg Swindell has been an assistant coach for the University of Texas and an analyst for Arizona Diamondbacks television broadcasts. He has also done some work in sports talk radio in the Phoenix area.  He is currently a baseball analyst for the Longhorn Network.  He was inducted into the Longhorn Hall of Honor in 1996 and into the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008.

Right-hander Richard Douglas Greene did not play for the Twins, but was in their farm system for part of the 2000 season. He was born in Fort Knox, Kentucky, went to high school in Coral Gables, Florida, attended LSU (where he set a school record for saves), played for the 1992 U. S. Olympic team, and was drafted by Detroit in the first round in 1992. A reliever all along, he struggled for several seasons in the minors. Promoted to AAA for the first time in 1997, he had his best year, going 6-8, 2.83, 1.16 WHIP in 70 innings. After the season, he was traded to Milwaukee. He had a decent but not particularly impressive year in AAA for the Brewers in 1998 and a similar year for Cincinnati in 1999. The latter year was when he made his only major league appearance, a 5.2 inning relief stint against Milwaukee. He allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits and a walk in a 10-1 loss (he gave up a three-run homer to the first batter he faced, Jose Valentin, then settled down some). He split 2000 in AAA with Cincinnati and Minnesota. As a member of the Salt Lake Buzz, Rick Greene went 2-2, 5.81, 1.86 WHIP in 26.1 innings (22 appearances). He played in independent leagues in 2001 and 2002, then his playing career was over. At last report, Rick Greene was the executive director of the Pelican Trade Network, a member-owned trade exchange in Monroe, Louisiana, and was the founder and CEO of the 2 Seam Dream Foundation, which was founded to raise awareness for cancer research and to aid in the support of patient recovery activities.

Right-hander Felix de Jesus (Estevez) Jorge made two starts for the Twins in 2017.  He was born in Santiago in the Dominican Republic and signed with the Twins in February of 2011 at age seventeen.  He pitched very well in rookie ball but the Twins brought him along very slowly, probably due to his age.  He did not reach A ball until 2014, when he pitched poorly in twelve appearances for Cedar Rapids.  He had a fine year for Cedar Rapids in 2015, however, and did very well in Fort Myers in 2016, although he did not do as well when promoted to Chattanooga.  He did much better in Chattanooga in 2017 and also made three starts in Rochester and two in Minnesota.  He was adequate in his first start with the Twins and bad in his second, giving him numbers of 1-0, 10.57, and a WHIP of 2.09 in 7.2 innings.  Barring injury, however, those are unlikely to be his career numbers.  He turns twenty-four today and will presumably start the season in Rochester.  It would not be surprising to see Felix Jorge back in a Twins uniform at some point in 2018.