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Twins Birthdays--August 26

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Brendan Harris (1980)
Eric Fryer (1985)
Darin Mastroianni (1987)

Infielder Brendan Michael Harris was with the Twins from 2008-2010. Born and raised in Queensbury, New York, he was drafted out of the College of William and Mary by the Cubs in the fifth round of the 2001 draft. He hit well throughout the minors, usually averaging over .300 with double-digit home runs, and played mostly second base and third base. He made his major-league debut with the Cubs in 2004, playing in three games for them before being sent to Montreal in the four-team trade that involved Doug Mientkiewicz going to Boston. Harris spent most of 2005 and 2006 in the minors, making brief appearances in both years with Washington before being traded to Cincinnati in August of 2006 in a multi-player deal that involved Austin Kearns and Ryan Wagner. The following off-season, Harris was traded to Tampa Bay in what describes as ďa conditional dealĒ. The conditions must have been met, because Harris was with the Devil Rays all year, his first full season in the majors. After one season with Tampa Bay, he was traded to the Twins in the deal that sent Matt Garza, Jason Bartlett, and Eduardo Morlan to Tampa Bay for Harris, Delmon Young, and Jason Pridie. Harris was a semi-regular utility infielder for the Twins from 2008-2009, seeing time at second, short, and third. He seemed likely to see most of his time at third base in 2010 but got off to a horrible start, batting just .157 in 108 at-bats before being sent to Rochester in mid-June. Things did not go well in Rochester, either, as he hit just .233. After the season, he was traded to Baltimore with J. J. Hardy and cash for Brett Jacobson and Jim Hoey. He did no better in AAA for the Orioles, hitting .225. A free agent after the season, he signed with Colorado and has had a good year for AAA Colorado Springs, hitting .317. A free agent again after the season, he signed with the Angels and somewhat surprisingly made the team out of spring training. He didnít do much for them, though, and was released in late July. He signed with the Yankees three days later and was sent to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Harris turns thirty-three today. One suspects that he is just about out of chances, but as we often say, you never know.

Catcher Eric Joseph Fryer, has not played with the Twins, but has been in their minor league system in 2013. He was born in Columbus, Ohio, went to high school in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, attended an Ohio State University, and was drafted by Milwaukee in the tenth round in 2007. He didnít do much in rookie ball that season, but hit .335 in the Sally League in 2008. He was traded to the Yankees that off-season, and in the middle of 2009 was traded to Pittsburgh in a deal involving Eric Hinske. He had a solid year in the Florida State League in 2010, although he was twenty-four by then. He did really well in the Eastern League in 2011 and got called up to the majors for about six weeks in the middle of the season. He had a poor year in AAA in 2012, but still got a couple more weeks in the majors as a backup catcher. A free agent after the season, he signed with Minnesota and has spent 2013 in Rochester, where he hasnít done much. He draws a lot of walks, but thatís really been his only offensive contribution since his 2011 season. At this writing, he has an OBP of .344 for the Red Wings, but is batting only .217. His major league numbers are .267/.353/.267 in 30 at-bats. He turns 28 today, so he probably is what he is. One assumes heíll never hit, but itís possible that heíll get some more chances somewhere as a backup.

Outfielder Darin Paul Mastroianni has been in the Twins organization in 2012. He was born in Mount Kisco, New York, went to high school in Bedford, New York, attended the University of Southern Indiana, and was drafted by Toronto in the sixteenth round in 2007. His numbers in the low minors were decent, but not outstanding. He stole a lot of bases, thoughĖseventy of them in 2009 in a season split between A and AA. He had a very good year in AA in 2010, hitting .301 with an OBP of .390 and 46 steals, and it looked like he was poised to make a move. He was disappointing in a 2011 split between AA and AAA (plus one game for the Blue Jays, going 0-for-2), however, and the Blue Jays gave up on him, putting him on waivers. The Twins claimed him in February of 2012. He started the season in the minors, but after hitting .346 twenty games in Rochester he came up to the big leagues. Heís been a reserve outfielder for the Twins, and has done about as well as he could reasonably be expected to do. Following the trades of Denard Span and Ben Revere he was in the mix for the Twinsí center field job in 2013, but was injured in spring training and missed half the season. When he came back, he was optioned to Rochester, He turns twenty-eight today and will never be a regular player for very long. What we said last year still applies. He will probably always be one slump away from being sent out, but heís fast, plays good defense, and isnít an automatic out at the plate. He just may be able to carve out a decent major league career as a reserve outfielder.
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