Happy Birthday–September 7

Dave Foutz (1856)
Hooks Wiltse (1879)
Curt Davis (1903)
Tommy Matchick (1943)
Willie Crawford (1946)
Joe Rudi (1946)
Darren Bragg (1969)
Jason Isringhausen (1972)
Mark Prior (1980)
Wade Davis (1985)
Dusten Knight (1990)
Devin Smeltzer (1995)

Right-hander Dusten Devoil Knight did not play for the Twins, but was in their farm system for about a month in 2019.  Born and raised in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, he attended the University of Texas-Pan American and was drafted by San Francisco in the twenty-eighth round in 2013.  He did well in the low minors and made a fairly successful jump from A to AAA in 2017.  For some reason, however, he was sent back to AA for most of 2018 and was left off the Giants forty-man roster after the season.  The Twins claimed him in the Rule 5 draft.  He made seven appearances for AA Pensacola and was outstanding, going 1-0, 1.59, 0.62 WHIP with 14 strikeouts in 11.1 innings.  Even granting that he was twenty-eight and playing in AA, that's pretty good.  Still, the Twins simply released him in early May and no one signed him.  He went to the Atlantic League and pitched well.  He did not pitch in 2020, but was signed by Baltimore in 2021.  He pitched very well in AAA, but did not get much accomplished in seven relief appearances in the majors.  A free agent after the season, he signed with Tampa Bay for 2022.  He again had a good AAA season, but has made only four appearances in the majors.  He turns thirty-two today.  His minor league numbers are pretty good, and 16.2 major league innings are not conclusive evidence that he can't pitch there.  Still, there's obviously something about him that teams don't like.  A thirty-two-year-old who still hasn't established himself is not a good bet, but it's not impossible that he could get another chance, nor is it impossible that he could take advantage of that chance if he gets it.

Left-hander Devin Paul Smeltzer came up to the Twins in 2019 at this writing.  He was born in Voorhees, New Jersey, went to high school in Pennsauken, New Jersey, attended Florida Gulf Coast University and San Jacinto College, and was drafted by the Dodgers in the fifth round in 2016.  He pitched pretty well in ten starts for Great Lakes in 2017, but didn't do much anywhere else in the Dodgers organization and was traded to Minnesota at the July deadline of 2018 along with Luke Raley and Logan Forsythe for Brian Dozier.  He did well in ten relief appearances for AA Chattanooga that season.  He began 2019 in AA Pensacola and dominated in five starts, leading to a promotion to Rochester.  He was up and down between the Twins and the Red Wings the rest of the season.  He pitched well for Rochester, even though his won-lost record didn't show it.  He did well for the Twins in eleven games (six starts), going 2-2, 3.86, 1.27 WHIP.  He did not do well in 2020, however, and missed almost the entire 2021 season due to injury.  He came back in 2022, however, and while he hasn't pitched well in AAA he has pitched pretty well in Minnesota.  He turns twenty-seven today.  He's not going to be a star, but he certainly could be a useful major league pitcher.