Happy Birthday–May 4

Charley Hickman (1876)
Jack Tobin (1892)
John Tsitouris (1936)
Rene Lachemann (1945)
Ken Oberkfell (1956)
Rick Leach (1957)
Tim Tschida (1960)
Eddie Perez (1968)
Joe Borowski (1971)
Miguel Cairo (1974)
Ben Grieve (1976)
Jason Michaels (1976)
Ryan Jorgensen (1979)
Matt Tolbert (1982)
Kevin Slowey (1984)

 St. Paul native Tim Tschida was a major league umpire from 1986-2012.

Catcher Ryan Wayne Jorgensen played a total of three innings for the Twins in 2008.  He was born in Jacksonville, Florida, went to high school in Kingwood, Texas, and attended LSU.  He was then drafted by the Cubs in the seventh round in 2000.  He really never had a productive offensive season in the minors above Class A; his best was 2004, when he hit .259 with eight homers for AAA Albuquerque.  The Cubs traded him to Florida in March or 2002 in a trade that involved Dontrelle Willis, Antonio Alfonseca, and Matt Clement.  Jorgensen does not seem to have been a regular catcher even in the minors; once he got above Class A, he never got as many as 250 at-bats in a minor league season.  He was with the Marlins for about two weeks, presumably when one of their catchers was injured.  He got four at-bats in four games and was 0-for-4.  Jorgensen was traded to Cincinnati in March of 2006 and got another two weeks or so in the majors with the Reds in 2007, going 3-for-15.  He became a free agent after the 2007 campaign and signed with Minnesota.  He hit .247 in Rochester and got a September call-up, going 0-for-1 in two games.  He signed with Cincinnati for 2009, but decided to retire instead.  One source indicated that he had become an air traffic controller, but that appears to be a different Ryan Jorgensen.  It appears that our Ryan Jorgensen is now living in the Miami area.

Infielder Christopher Matthew Tolbert was with the Twins from 2008-2011.  He was born in McComb, Mississippi, went to high school in Centreville, Mississippi, and attended the University of Mississippi.  He was drafted by Minnesota in the sixteenth round in 2004.  He has generally hit for a decent average in the minors, but with little power and only an average number of walks.  He has hit over .300 in the minors twice:  in rookie ball in 2004, when he hit .308, and in a half-season at Ft. Myers in 2006, when he hit .303 in 155 at-bats.  After hitting .293 at Rochester in 2007, Tolbert spent most of 2008 with Minnesota, although he was injured part of the time.  He hit .283 that season in 113 at-bats.  He was with the Twins for a little over half of 2009, but hit only .232 in 198 at-bats.  He began 2010 with AAA Rochester, but was called up in mid-May and spent most of the rest of the season in Minnesota.  He was with the big club almost all of 2011 as a futility infielder, batting .198 with an OPS of .518.   A free agent after 2011, he signed with the Cubs and did not have a particularly good year playing for AAA Iowa in 2012.  He signed with the Phillies for 2013 but was injured most of the season.  He was again in the Phillies organization for 2014 but retired in July.  He finished out the season as a coach in the Phillies organization at short-season Williamsport but was not retained for 2015.  As a Twin, Matt Tolbert hit .230/.288/.319 in 605 at-bats.  He hustled and he played a lot of positions, which enabled him to have a longer playing career than he would've had just based on talent.  No information about what Matt Tolbert has done since the 2015 season was readily available.

Right-hander Kevin Michael Slowey pitched for the Twins from 2007-2011.  He was born in Conroe, Texas, attended high school in Upper St. Clair, Pennsylvania, and attended Winthrop University.  He was drafted by the Twins in the second round in 2005.  He was tremendous in the minors:  his highest season-long ERA was 2.12 and his highest WHIP was 0.96.  Slowey pitched only 7.2 innings of rookie ball in 2005 before being moved up to Beloit, where he posted an ERA of 2.24 and a WHIP of 0.78 in 64.1 innings.  He made 14 starts at Ft. Myers in 2006 and was almost unhittable, going 4-2, 1.01 with a 0.68 WHIP before being promoted to New Britain.  He was 10-5, 1.89 in 20 starts in Rochester in 2007.  Slowey made his major league debut that year, going 4-1, 4.73 in 13 games, eleven of them starts.  He was fairly good in 2008, but missed half of 2009 with a wrist injury.  He was in the starting rotation in 2010, and did okay, going 13-6, 4.45, 1.29 WHIP in 28 starts.  He was injured much of 2011 and was ineffective when he did pitch.  Somewhere along the way, he apparently did something that got him on the wrong side of Twins television broadcaster Dick Bremer, who continues to hold a grudge against him all these years later.  After the 2011 season, Slowey was traded to Colorado for a player to be named later (Daniel Turpen).  He did not play for the Rockies, however, as he was traded to Cleveland about six weeks later.  He was injured much of the season and did not pitch particularly well in eight AAA starts. A free agent after the season, he signed with Miami, made their rotation, pitched very well in his first seven starts, but not so well after that.  He went to the bullpen in June and ended his season early due to injury in mid-July.  He started 2014 in the Miami bullpen, made a couple of starts in April, and did not do well in either role.  He was released in June and was out of baseball until the off-season, when he signed with Philadelphia.  He was then released in late March.  As a Twin, he was 39-29, 4.66 with a WHIP of 1.30.  He appeared in 100 games, 90 of them starts, and pitched 532.2 innings.  In June of 2015, Slowey formally announced his retirement and became a special assistant to the executive director of the major league baseball players' association.

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