Happy Birthday–March 27

Miller Huggins (1878)
Effa Manley (1897)
Wes Covington (1932)
Bill Sudakis (1946)
Lynn McGlothen (1950)
Dick Ruthven (1951)
Dave Hostetler (1956)
Jaime Navarro (1967)
Tom Quinlan (1968)
Dee Brown (1978)
Michael Cuddyer (1979)
Brian Slocum (1981)
Buster Posey (1987)
Ryne Harper (1989)
Matt Harvey (1989)
Jake Odorizzi (1990)

Effa Manley was the owner of the Brooklyn Eagles and the Newark Eagles in the Negro Leagues.

Dick Ruthven was drafted by Minnesota in the first round in 1972, but did not sign.

Brian Slocum was drafted by Minnesota in the fourteenth round in 1999, but did not sign.

We would like to wish a very happy birthday to Can of Corn.

We would also like to wish a happy birthday to Milt on Tilt.  Gone but not forgotten.

The brother of big league infielder Robb Quinlan, third baseman Thomas Raymond Quinlan got six at-bats with the Twins at the beginning of 1996. He was born in St. Paul, went to high school in Maplewood, Minnesota, and was drafted by Toronto in 1986. That same year, he was also drafted by the Calgary Flames in the fourth round, but he chose to play baseball. In seven years in the minors for the Blue Jays, his highest batting average was .258, although he did average eleven home runs per season. Despite that, he got a September call-up in 1990 and was with the Blue Jays for nearly two months in 1992. He was used mostly as a defensive replacement, getting only 17 at-bats. He became a free agent after the 1993 season and signed with Philadelphia. He again got nearly two months in the big leagues, starting for about a week. A free agent again after the 1994 season, Quinlan signed with Minnesota for 1995. He was in AAA Salt Lake all season and actually had a decent year, hitting .279 with 17 home runs. He began 1996 with the Twins, went 0-for-6 in four games, and was sent back to AAA. He had another fairly good season there, but became a free agent again and signed with Colorado for 1997. He was in AAA for the Rockies in 1997, for Texas in 1998, and for the Cubs in 1999. He then moved to Korea to play in 2000, being named MVP of the Korean Series that year while playing for the Hyundai Unicorns. At last report, Tom Quinlan was an instructor with Nevers Larkin Baseball of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, which is partly owned by Gene Larkin.

Outfielder/first baseman Michael Brent Cuddyer played for the Twins from 2001-2011. He was born in Norfolk, Virginia and went to high school in Chesapeake, Virginia. He was drafted by Minnesota with the ninth pick of the 1997 draft. Originally an infielder, he played shortstop in 1998 and third base in 1999 and 2000. He was still primarily a third baseman in 2001, but played quite a few games at first and a handful in the outfield. He had probably his best minor league season in 2001, hitting .301 with 30 home runs. He made his major league debut as a September call-up that season, starting five games at first base. He had another fine year in AAA Edmonton in 2002, hitting .319 with 20 home runs when he was called up to Minnesota in mid-July. Cuddyer had shifted to the outfield that year and that was his main position with the Twins, too, as he hit .259 in 112 at-bats. He started 2003 with Minnesota, mostly playing in right field, but was hitting only .233 in early May and was sent back to AAA, where he hit over .300 for the third consecutive season and earned a September call-up. His first full season in the majors was 2004 and he was primarily used in the infield, where he had hardly played for two years. He was the regular third baseman for about three weeks in May, the regular second baseman for another three weeks from late May to mid-June, and was used at multiple positions the rest of the season (at one point, he started at four different positions in five games). Even so, he had a decent year, hitting .263 with 12 home runs in 339 at-bats. In 2005 he played mostly at third base, starting 92 games there while also seeing time at second, first, and right field. He again hit .263 with 12 homers, this time in 422 at-bats. He moved to right field in 2006 and stayed there, other than when he filled in for an injured Justin Morneau at first base. Apart from 2008, when he struggled with injuries, he has been a consistent performer at the plate, hitting between .271 and .284. He hit 32 home runs in 2009, the most he has hit in the majors, and received minor support for MVP. He never approached that home run total again, but he has continued to be a good player..  He made his first all-star team in 2011.  A free agent after that season, he signed with Colorado for 2012.  He missed time with injuries, but when healthy had a pretty typical Michael Cuddyer year, hitting 260 with 16 homers in 358 at-bats.  In 2013, however, at age 34 he magically had what is easily the best year of his career, winning the batting title with an average of .331 (nearly fifty points higher than he had ever hit before), hitting twenty homers, making the all-star team for the second time and winning his first Silver Slugger award.  He pretty much duplicated those numbers in 2014 at age 35.  A free agent after the season, he signed with the Mets for 2015.  Whether it was age or the move away from Coors Field, his numbers dropped dramatically in 2015, as he hit .259/.309/.391.  He retired after that season.  He is currently a special assistant for the Minnesota Twins.

Right-hander Ryne Richard Harper was with the Twins for most of the 2019 season.  Born and raised in Clarksville, Tennessee, he attended Austin Peay State University in Clarksville (I don't know if he took the last train there), and was drafted by Atlanta in the thirty-seventh round in 2011.  For the most part he pitched well in the  minors, but moved up very slowly and did not get a chance in the majors for a long time, probably because he did not have a big fastball.  A reliever throughout his career, he reached AA in 2013.  His AA record is 21-16, 2.25, 1.11 WHIP, but he did not reach AAA until 2017.  He was no longer with the Braves by then--he was traded to Seattle after the 2015 season as a player to be named later in a deal that sent Jose Ramirez to Atlanta.  He had a decent but unspectacular year in AAA in 2017, became a free agent, and signed with Minnesota for 2018.  The Twins sent him back to AA, but promoted him to AAA later in the season.  He made the big club at the start of 2019, making his major league debut at age thirty.  He pitched very well for the first couple of months, but could not sustain it as the season wore on.  The Twins traded him to Washington after the 2019 season for Hunter McMahon.  He's a fun pitcher to watch when he's on, and we certainly wish him well, but he doesn't have a lot of margin for error.  He turns thirty-one today.

Right-handed pitcher Jacob Todd Odorizzi came to the Twins in 2018.  He was born in Breese, Illinois, went to high school in Highland and New Douglas, Illinois, and was drafted by Milwaukee in the first round in 2008.  He spent two years in rookie ball, had a fine year in Class A in 2010, but then was traded to Kansas City in a trade that included several prominent players, including Zack Greinke.  He reached AAA with the Royals in 2012 and made two major league starts for them in September.  He was then traded to Tampa Bay in a trade that again included some prominent players.  He had a fine season in AAA in 2013 and made seven appearances in the  majors that season.  He reached the majors to stay at the start of the 2014 season and spent four full seasons for the Rays.  He wasn't a star, but he was a solid major league pitcher for them, going 40-38, 3.83, 1.22 WHIP, 4.23 FIP and averaging around 170 innings per season.  He was traded to the Twins before the 2018 season for Jermaine Palacios.  His FIP remained basically the same in 2018, but his other numbers were not as good, although not terrible,  In 2019 he had possibly the best year of his career, going 15-7, 3.51, 1.21 WHIP.  He turns thirty today and will be an important member of the Twins' starting rotation if and when the 2020 season starts.

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