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Twins Birthdays--May 4

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Ryan Jorgensen (1979)
Matt Tolbert (1982)
Kevin Slowey (1984)

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. At last report, Ryan Jorgensen had moved back to Kingwood, Texas.

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, has been injured most of the season, and is currently on a rehab assignment. As a Twin, he hit .230/.288/.319 in 605 at-bats. He turns 31 today. His future does not look particularly bright, but he hustles and he plays a lot of positions. Itís possible that his major league career is already over, but it would not be all that surprising if he got another call-up at some point.

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. After the season, he 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, and has pitched very well so far in 2013. 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. Heís 29 today, has yet to establish himself, and has had injury problems. Kevin Slowey still could have a solid major league career, but if he doesnít make it this time, it seems likely that time is going to run out on him.
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