Happy Birthday–May 28

Spider Baum (1882)
Jim Thorpe (1887)
Warren Giles (1896)
John Allyn (1917)
Bob Kuzava (1923)
Frank Saucier (1926)
Kirk Gibson (1957)
Bill Doran (1958)
Duane Ward (1964)
Mike Maksudian (1966)
Mike Difelice (1969)
Jhonny Peralta (1982)
Craig Kimbrel (1988)
Lester Oliveros (1988)
Huascar Ynoa (1998)

Spider Baum won 325 games in the minors between 1902-1920.  267 of those wins came in the Pacific Coast League.

Warren Giles was president of the National League from 1951-1969.

John Allyn was the owner of the Chicago White Sox from 1961-1975.

Frank Saucier is the player Eddie Gaedel pinch-hit for in 1951.

We would also like to wish a happy anniversary to Mr. and Mrs. Philosofer.

Catcher/first baseman Michael Bryant Maksudian played in five games for the Twins in 1993.  He was born in Belleville, Illinois, went to high school in Parsippany, New Jersey, and attended the University of South Alabama.  He was signed by the White Sox as a free agent in 1987.  He was a fairly solid hitter in the minors, but did not hit well enough for a first baseman and did not really play in the field well enough to play elsewhere.  The White Sox traded Maksudian to the Mets in August of 1988.  The Mets released him late in spring training of 1989, and he played that season with independent Miami in the Florida State League.  Toronto signed him that off-season, and he stayed in the Blue Jays’ system for three years, getting three at-bats in the majors in 1992.  Toronto waived him after the 1992 season, and the Twins claimed him.  He had a solid year in AAA Portland, hitting .314, and was with Minnesota for about two weeks in June.  He started four games at first base and played one inning at third.  He went 2-for-12 with a double and four walks, giving him a line of .167/.353/.250.  He became a free agent after the season and signed with the Cubs.  He again hit over .300 in the minors, this time getting two months in the majors, his longest stint.  Maksudian was used primarily as a pinch-hitter and did well in that role, batting .269 with 10 walks in 26 at-bats.  The Cubs allowed him to become a free agent after the season, and he signed with Oakland.  He was in AAA all of 1995 and then his playing career came to an end.  His chief claim to fame as a player was an ability to eat various kinds of insects.  At last report, Mike Maksudian was a senior technology consultant at En Pointe Technologies in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Right-hander Lester Jesus (Blanco) Oliveros played for the Twins in 2011, 2012, and 2014.  Born in Maracay, Aragua, Venezuela, he was signed by Detroit as a free agent in 2005.  A reliever his entire career, he struggled his first year at each new level, but seemed to figure something out in his second year at each level.  He struck out a lot of batters but also walked too many batters.  He made his major league debut in 2011, spending most of July with the Tigers and appearing in nine games, two against the Twins.  He must have impressed them, because in mid-August he was selected as the player to be named later in the deal that also sent Cole Nelson to the Twins for Delmon Young.  He made ten appearances with the Twins, working 13.1 innings.  He had no record and a 4.05 ERA, giving up 13 hits and 7 walks while striking out nine.  He split 2012 between New Britain and Rochester and pitched well in each place.  He even seemed to gain control, getting his walk rate down to 2.8.  He was a free agent after the season and re-signed with Minnesota, but was on the disabled list almost all season.  He pitched well in Rochester in 2014 and got a September call-up, looking really bad in his first two appearances but doing well after that.  He was back in Rochester in 2015 and pitched decently when healthy but battled shoulder injuries much of the season.  A free agent after the season, he signed with Kansas City for 2016 but was unable to play for them.  He was released in August and it appeared that his playing career had come to an end.  However, he attempted a comeback in the Venezuelan League over the past off-season.  Unfortunately for him, it did not go very well.  As a Twin he was 0-1, 5.06, 1.45 WHIP in 21.1 innings (18 games).  He turns thirty-two today.  We wish him well, but it may be time for Lester Oliveros to move on to the next phase of his life.

Right-hander Huascar Jose Ynoa did not play for the Twins, but he was in the low minors for them for two and a half seasons.  He was born in Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic and signed with the Twins as a free agent in 2014 at age sixteen.  He pitched very well in the Dominican Summer League in 2015 and in the Gulf Coast League in 2016.  He struggled in six starts in Elizabethton in 2017 and was traded to Atlanta for Jaime Garcia, Anthony Recker, and cash.  He continued to struggle that season, but did well at Class A in 2018.  He pitched well in three starts in high-A in 2019, did not do well in six relief appearances at AA, continued to struggle when promoted to AAA, but still made two relief appearances for the Braves.  As one would expect he did not do very well, posting an ERA of 18.00 and a WHIP of 2.33 in three innings.  He turns twenty-two today, so he certainly has time to develop.  It appears that the Braves believe in him, anyway.  We wouldn't even want to hazard a guess at how his career will go, but we wish him good luck.

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