Happy Birthday–May 8

Dan Brouthers (1858)
Edd Roush (1893)
Turkey Stearnes (1901)
Mike Cuellar (1937)
Steve Braun (1948)
Orestes Destrade (1962)
Todd Greene (1971)
John Maine (1981)
Adrian Gonzalez (1982)
Sean Gilmartin (1990)

I could not find out why Edd Roush's first name was spelled with two d's.  I did find out, however, that he had a twin brother whose name was Fred, not Fredd.

Outfielder Turkey Stearns was a star in the Negro Leagues from 1923-1940, posting a slugging percentage of .619.

Mike Cuellar pitched in AAA in the Twins’ organization in 1961.  He does not seem to have belonged to the Twins, however.  It may be that he was temporarily loaned to them, a practice which was not uncommon in the 1960s.

Left-handed hitter Stephen Russell Braun played for the Twins from 1971-1976.  He was born in Trenton, New Jersey, went to high school in Pennington, New Jersey, and was drafted by the Twins in the tenth round in 1966.  He was in rookie ball for two years, doing nothing special, and then missed two years to military service.  He came back to hit .279 at Class A Lynchberg in 1970 and started 1971 with the Twins.  He was used mostly as a pinch hitter at first, but gradually worked his way into a more-or-less regular role.  Braun is not the type of player normally thought of as a “utility player”, but he played mutliple positions with the Twins, spending time in both the infield and the outfield.  He was primarily used as an infielder in 1971-1973, used mostly at third but also starting games at second and short as well as a few in the outfield.  He was primarily a left fielder in 1974-1975, but played some third and first.  In 1976 he was mostly used at DH, but again saw time in the outfield and at third base.  At all of these positions, he was a solid batter, regularly posting batting averages in the .280s and OBPs of .360 or higher.  His best year as a Twin was probably 1975, when Braun hit .302 with 11 home runs and 66 walks.  He was still a productive player in 1976, but the Twins left him unprotected in the expansion draft and he was chosen by Seattle.  Perhaps the Twins knew something, because even though he was not yet thirty, 1977 was Braun’s last year as a regular.  Used at left field and DH, he was a disappointment to the Mariners and was traded to Kansas City in June of 1978.  He then embarked on a relatively long career in which he was used primarily as a pinch-hitter.  Braun was with the Royals until he was released in June of 1980.  He finished that season with Toronto, then signed with St. Louis, where he played the final five years of his career.  He never got as many as 100 at-bats in any of his last six seasons, but he remained relatively consistent, batting in the .270s in each season from 1982-1984.  As a Twin, Steve Braun hit .284/.376/.381 in nearly 2500 at-bats.  He remained in baseball after his playing career ended, including some time as the hitting coach for the Cardinals.  More recently, he was batting coach for the Trenton Thunder from 1999-2004.  At last report, he was an associate for Ignite, a company which "teaches others how they can receive residual income when people paid thier electric bills using network marketing."

Left-hander Sean Patrick Gilmartin did not play for the Twins but was in their minor league system in 2014.  He was born in Thousand Oaks, California, went to high school in Encino, attended Florida State, and was drafted by Atlanta in the first round in 2011.  He pitched pretty well up through AA, but stumbled when reaching AAA  for seven starts in 2012.  He continued to struggle in AAA in 2013 and after the season was traded to Minnesota for Ryan Doumit.  He spent half of 2014 in AA and half in AAA, doing better in AA and not all that badly in AAA.  The Twins left him unprotected in the Rule 5 draft and he was chosen by the Mets.  He had been a starter his entire career up to this point, but the Mets put him in the bullpen and he did quite well there.  He was in the majors all of 2015 and was 3-2, 2.67, 1.19 WHIP in 57.1 innings (50 appearances).  Despite that, he started 2016 in AAA and was up and down all year, having three stints with the Mets but appearing in only fourteen games.  His numbers look terrible, but two bad outings skew them--take those out, and his ERA is 2.40 instead of 7.13.  He made two appearances for the Mets in 2017, one good and one bad.  The Mets waived him in mid-June and he was claimed by St. Louis.  He almost immediately injured his elbow, making only eight appearances in AAA for the Cardinals.  He has remained in AAA for St. Louis in 2018 and has not done well so far, leading one to think he still may not be healthy.  He turns twenty-eight today.  If he can regain his health, he has enough record of success to think he could help somebody in a major league bullpen.

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