Jun 8, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar (11) watches a ball in a game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Rogers Centre. The St. Louis Cardinals won 5-0. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jays recall Brad Glenn, option pouting Kevin Pillar


Needing a boost after watching a 6-0 lead evaporate, the Toronto Blue Jays opted to pinch hit for Kevin Pillar in the 8th inning with tough right-hander Dellin Betances on the mound. That move apparently didn’t sit well with Pillar last night, as the outfielder tossed his bat into the tunnel in disgust and drew the ire of manager John Gibbons, as relayed by a series of tweet from MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm.

 

Well, the move didn’t sit overly well with manager John Gibbons, leading to the team making a surprise move on Wednesday, demoting Pillar back to Triple-A Buffalo and replacing him on the roster with Brad Glenn, again as relayed by Chisholm via Twitter.

Given the state of how things have unfolded lately and the need for the team to pull through these tough times as a team, it goes without saying that the move was made to send a message to the otherwise quiet Pillar. Chisholm even went as far as to ask Gibbons if the move was a direct result of last night’s actions, something the Blue Jays manager chose not to deny.

Pillar has slashed a notably weak .225/.220/.300 in 26 games with the Blue Jays in 2014, mostly in a platoon role with Anthony Gose. However, those numbers are exasperated by the fact that Pillar exhibits a notable split between hitting left-handed pitchers versus right-handers, which is the primary reason he was lifted with the righty on the mound and the Jays threatening in the 8th for the go-ahead run.

A fan-favorite turned folk hero a season ago, the 25-year-old Pillar made a tremendous leap in the Jays farm system in 2013 and forced his way into the big league picture. However, he has struggled with pitch recognition at the game’s highest level and has not been able to turn minor league performance into Major League results thus far.


That all said, the Blue Jays opted to make a move to both better the team and send a message. The 27-year-old Glenn has been tearing up pitching this season, slashing a combined .302/.373/.490 with 9 home runs and 36 RBI between Double-A New Hampshire and Triple-A Buffalo. That performance has lead to his first taste of the big leagues, where he’ll serve as outfield depth and a late-game pinch-hitter.

To make room for Glenn on the 40-man roster, the Blue Jays were forced to designate shortstop Jonathan Diaz for assignment. The light-hitting Diaz enjoyed a cup of coffee with the team earlier this season, but given his lack of an impact bat, he’ll likely pass through waivers and rejoin the Bisons later this week.

Tags: Brad Glenn Featured Kevin Pillar Popular Toronto Blue Jays

  • RyanMueller

    I love how fringe guys aren’t allowed to show emotion when they are removed from a game, but when Lawrie showed that same type of emotion…he is competitive. This is BS. Gose gets all the benefit of the doubt and Pillar just got S#$t on. Pillar got sent down and hit the cover off the ball to show that he deserves to be in the show. Gose went down and suck the big one and still got the call back to TO.
    On the positive, I am very happy to see Glenn get the call.

    • http://www.jaysjournal.com Shaun Doyle

      Gose offers SOMETHING (not much) the club could use-speed. What does Pillar bring? I can’t think of anything. Either way, he certainly doesn’t have the credentials to sulk about being pulled. And, I’m pretty sure LOTS of people were all over Lawrie for his tantrums. He’s just not as replaceable as Pillar.

      • JaysHopeful

        I think that the issue is EXACTLY that we do not KNOW what Pillar brings to the table, because he has not been given the opportunity to prove himself at the big league level – 40 ABs and 100 innings in the OF doesn’t tell us much of anything. In 2013 he had more steals than Gose at AAA, so there is speed there, too. We just don’t know how it translates to the MLB. (Gose has too many CSs to be labelled a “threat” of late either, really). In AAA Pillar’s hit .328 against righties, but 14 ABs in the show means he can’t hit righties? Last year, he was probably brought up too early, but this year he hasn’t gotten enough play to show us what he can do.

        He goes back to Buffalo and hits .391 and that hasn’t earned him an AB against a righty? Kid’s been doing more with less opportunities and less raw talent, and keeps getting passed up for guys who can walk a bit more and hit more HRs. I can understand his frustration. I won’t defend his outburst, but what does he have to do to get a real chance in the bigs? If the Jays don’t wanna see what he’s got, do him the favour and trade him. Just before we demonize the kid for getting pissed off, let’s think about how hard he’s worked from the 979th overall pick in 2011 to now.

        • RyanMueller

          Pillar has the label of being average at everything….I think that is what Shaun is saying. I really like that you said that Gose shouldn’t be considered a base stealing threat since he hasn’t demonstrated the ability to consistently steal since he was in Double-A. I am starting to think that he won’t be given a fair chance until he moves to another organization or Gose moves.

          • http://www.jaysjournal.com Shaun Doyle

            I wouldn’t be sad to see either of them go. Of course if Rasmus and Melky aren’t re-signed then we’ve got nothing else. The outfield isn’t very deep. Worrisome actually.

          • RyanMueller

            Some body should write up a series of articles that looks at the outfield options in the Jays upper minor league teams. :-)

        • Tigidoo

          Gibbons is a bad manager. I totally agree that Pillar should have been given the opportunity to prove himself in the bases loaded situation. That would have been his defining moment. The only advantage was having Gose bat left and having a very slight advantage of speed on the bags. Which in this case resulted in nothing. The minute I saw Gose go up to the plate I knew immediately they wasted those runners on the bags from coming in to score runs. If anyone needs to spend some more time in the minors it should be Gose. Especially after watching him let a ball drop in front of him in foul territory last night. Sending Pillar up and down like he has travelled and not given opportunities is demoralizing. It doesn’t help him. If they can let a guy swing badly at the plate like Francisco does, Pillar also deserves the same opportunity to play games and prove himself. Kawasaki is a above average player (I would even go as far as saying borderline great) spent most of his time in the minors this season when he should have been playing. Now if they can only fix the relief pitchers. Walks are killing the team. Something has to give. Last season the bullpen was amazing and this season they are horrible. Their trainers or coaches are obviously doing something wrong. Remember Gibbons makes all the final decisions and calls.

          • JaysHopeful

            I wonder about how big of a role Pat Hentgen played with the bullpen last year. Not to knock the guy who’s there now, but Pat Hentgen was Pat Hentgen. Dude’s got a ring and a Cy Young. How do you replace that skill, experience, and history with the organization?

            I have always been impressed with how Kawasaki plays and approaches the game; the energy, enthusiasm, professionalism, and joy. I have never been disappointed in his play, in the sense of “he is going to use everything in his power to do what is needed in this situation.” As a utility-infielder, cost-vs.-tools-vs.-intangibles, yeah, I think its great having him on the 25-man. I think he is a great “blue-collar player,” and those guys are essential on a club.

      • RyanMueller

        you are right….on both accounts. I know if I were a coach I would want a guy to be pissed if I took him out….shows that they have fire.

      • Tigidoo

        May not have the credentials but how else is he going to get the them if stripped of the opportunity especially this one what it was defining moment. He came up big before and is more than capable of doing it again.

    • Tigidoo

      I agree. At the expense of Pillar we get to see what Glenn has to offer. I feel horrible for Pillar that his rant got the better of him when he was stripped of what could have been his defining moment. No matter whether Pillar was right or wrong in his actions, I would rather see that kind of fire to play from all the players all the time. Some play as if it is their right to play when instead it is a privilege.

      • RyanMueller

        Tigidoo
        That is what I was trying to say but you said it much better. Glenn is nothing to get excited about but he could surprise a few pitchers that haven’t seen him before.