April 7, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez (34) delivers a pitch against the Oakland Athletics during the third inning at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE
Happy birthday to Kason Gabbard, who turns 30 today. The former Ranger was acquired from Boston in 2007 in the Eric Gagne deal, along with David Murphy and Engel Beltre, and some of the more shallow followers of the local sports scene immediately proclaimed him the prize of the deal, because he was a lefty who could join the rotation immediately, and what the Rangers really needed was immediate pitching help.
Gabbard struggled and was dumped by the Rangers the next year, becoming an aftermath in that trade, and primarily remembered as the guy whose jersey Darren O'Day was wearing when he made his Ranger debut.
Something interesting I noted when looking at the birthdays, though...April 8 in the early to mid 80s was remarkably productive in terms of producing baseball players, or at least highly regarded baseball prospects. Jeremy Hellickson and Yonder Alonso were both on April 8, 1987. Felix Hernandez and Carlos Santana were both born on April 8, 1986.* Former Padre first rounder Matt Antonelli was born on April 8, 1985, and Chris Iannetta and former Phillies and A's prospect Eric Patterson were born on April 8, 1983. Go back to 1979, and Jeremy Guthrie and former Reds first rounder Dane Sardinha were born on April 8.
* Just another reminder of how amazing Felix Hernandez's career has been...he's seemingly been around forever, but is just a year older than Hellickson and Alonso.
An interesting clustering of birthdays.