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Twins Birthdays--May 28

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Mike Maksudian (1966)
Lester Oliveros (1988)

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 Jaysí 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 hard money specialist for Homerun Financial of Phoenix, Arizona.

Right-hander Lester Jesus (Blanco) Oliveros has not played for the Twins yet, but is in their farm system. Born in Maracay, Aragua, Venezuela, he was signed by Detroit as a free agent in 2005. A reliever his entire career, he has struggled his first year at each new level, but has so far figured something out in his second year at each level. He strikes out a lot of batters (10.9 per nine innings in the minors, 9.8 per nine innings at AAA), but has also walked too many batters (3.8 per nine innings). 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 but re-signed with Minnesota. He has been on the disabled list all season. Who knows what will happen, but heís only twenty-five. If he can recover from his injury with his control intact, itís not that hard to imagine Lester Oliveros having a decent major league career.
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