Twins Birthdays--August 31
by, 08-31-2013 at 08:49 AM (112 Views)
Also posted at wgom.org
Mike Hartley (1961)
Pat Howell (1968)
Tim Raines (1979)
Armando Gabino (1983)
Pitcher Michael Edward Hartley played for the Twins in 1993. He was born in Hawthorne, California, went to high school in El Cajon, California, attended East Carolina University, and was signed as a free agent by the Cardinals in 1981. He had a good year in rookie ball in 1982, but then spent the next four years at Class A before being drafted by the Dodgers in the minor league draft. They started him at Class A in 1987, but advanced him to AA and then pitched him in two games in AAA that year. Hartley split 1988 between AA and AAA. In 1989, after an excellent year at AAA Albuquerque, he earned a September call-up with the Dodgers, and had a fine year for them in 1990, pitching mostly in relief. The Dodgers traded Hartley to Philadelphia mid-way through the 1991 season, and after a year and a half there, he was traded to the Twins for David West. Hartley was not awful as a long reliever for the Twins in 1993, pitching in 53 games, all in relief, and going 1-2 with an ERA of 4.00 and a WHIP of 1.51 in 81 innings. He became a free agent at the end of the season and signed with the Angels, but was sold to the Chiba Lotte Marines three days later. After pitching in Japan in 1994, Hartley returned to the United States and signed with the Red Sox organization, spending most of 1995 in the minors but making five appearances with Boston and three with Baltimore, who signed him after he was released by the Red Sox. He played independent ball in 1997, and later got into coaching. He was the pitching coach for the Reno Silver Sox from 2005-2007, making one appearance for them in 2005. From 2008-2009 Mike Hartley was a coach and part-time pitcher for a German professional team, the Heidenheim Heidekopfe, becoming the first former big-leaguer to play in Germany. He returned to Europe in 2012 as manager of Grosseto in the Italian Baseball League, and was still there at last report.
Outfielder Patrick O’Neal Howell did not play for the Twins, but was in spring training with them in 1991 and in their minor league system in 1993. He was born in Mobile, Alabama, attended high school in Prichard, Alabama, and was drafted by the Mets in the ninth round in 1987. A speedy outfielder with no power, he advanced slowly up the Mets’ system, playing in rookie ball for two years and Class A for two more. His best season at that point had been in Class A in 1989, when he hit .290 (with a .346 slugging percentage). The Twins thought they saw something in him, though, and took him in the Rule 5 draft after the 1990 season. The Twins clearly wanted to keep him, but simply could not justify leaving him on the major league roster, and on April 5 returned him to the Mets. He reached AA that season and AAA in 1992, and while he neither hit nor walked much he stole a lot of bases, including 64 of them in 1991. The Mets even called him up for about two months in 1992 and used him as a reserve outfielder. He did about what you’d expect from his minor league record: .187/.218/.200 in 75 at-bats. The Twins still liked him, though, and after the 1992 season they traded Darren Reed for him. They sent him to AAA Portland, and while he stole 36 bases he hit .209 with an OPS of .505, which was enough to finally convince the Twins that there was nothing there. He went back to the Mets for 1994, played in Mexico from 1995-1997, to Taiwan in 1998, and then played in independent leagues for eight seasons before finally ending his playing career after the 2004 season. At last report, Pat Howell had returned to the Mobile area and was working with baseball clinics there.
The son of the all-star, outfielder Timothy Raines Jr. was in spring training with the Twins for a couple of weeks in 2006. He was born in Memphis, went to high school in Sanford, Florida, and was drafted by Baltimore in the sixth round in 1998. His minor league record is rather unimpressive, but after hitting .274 for three minor league teams in 2001 he got a September call-up and appeared in seven games. In 2003, still only twenty-three years old, he hit .304 in a season split between AA and AAA and was called up to the Orioles in late August, playing in twenty more games. He had three stints in the majors in 2004, totalling roughly half the season, hitting .255 in 94 at-bats. He had a down year in 2005 in AAA Ottawa, hitting .254, and became a free agent after the season. He signed with the Twins as a free agent on January 31, 2006, but was released on March 2. He bounced around after that, going to the Washington organization in 2006, Houston in 2007, Arizona in 2008, and Kansas City in 2009, spending time both in AA and AAA but never making it back to the majors. He also played briefly in Taiwan. He played in the Atlantic League in 2010 and moved to Newark of the Can-Am League for 2011, where he was managed by his father. Tim Raines, Jr. was a coach for Newark in 2012, with his father becoming director of player development, but neither appears to be with the team in 2013. No further information about Tim Raines, Jr. was readily available.
Right-hander Armando Leisdeker (Garcia) Gabino made two appearances for the Twins in 2009. He was born in Santiago, Dominican Republic, and signed with Cleveland as a free agent in 2001. He may have spent a couple of years in the Dominican Summer League or something, because his official minor league statistics do not begin until 2004, when he pitched five games in the Appalachian League. He came to the Twins organization the following year in the minor league draft. He had a poor 2005, but has pitched well in the minors since, posting a 2.94 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP in AAA Rochester in 2009. He has been predominantly a relief pitcher in the minors, making only 13 starts in 176 minor-league appearances. He made one start and one relief appearance for the Twins, pitching 3.2 innings and allowing seven runs on nine hits and five walks. The Twins placed Gabino on waivers after the season and he was claimed by Baltimore. He has spent most of the 2010 season at AAA Norfolk but made five appearances for the Orioles, again allowing seven runs on nine hits, but this time in 4.2 innings. He has had a fine year for Norfolk, however, posting a 2.09 ERA in 77.1 innings. He continued to pitch well in the minors for the Orioles in 2011, but did not gotten a shot back in the majors. He was a free agent after the season, but no major league team signed him. He did not give up, though, pitching in the Mexican League in 2012 and in the Atlantic League in 2013. He turns 30 today and it seems unlikely that he will get another shot, but teams are always desperate for pitching, so as we always say, you never know.