The Toronto Blue Jays made a minor move today acquiring outfielder Cole Gillespie off waivers from the Seattle Mariners. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Jays designated outfielder Kenny Wilson for assignment.
Gillespie, 30, has a career slash line of .233/.298/.333 and had an OPS of .636 in 34 games this year with the Mariners. The right-handed hitter has primarily been used against lefties this year and is batting .280/.357/.320 off southpaws in 2014. Over 68 plate appearances in Triple-A this season he’s been very good with an OPS of 1.197.
Wilson, 24, has already been designated once by the Blue Jays this season and was claimed off waivers by the Minnesota Twins, who had just lost outfielder Darin Mastroianni to a waiver claim by the Blue Jays. Wilson played only 14 games for the Twins’ Double-A affiliate before he was designated for assignment again, which led to the Jays picking him back up once again.
Wilson is a good athlete but has had a tough time during his tools into skills over his injury-plagued minor league career. Another team, like the Twins, might take another chance at the young outfielder but his loss wouldn’t be much of a blow to the Blue Jays. He’s not ready for the major leagues and with Dalton Pompey, Aaron Sanchez and Andy Burns all needing protection for the Rule 5 draft this fall it makes sense GM Alex Anthopoulos was willing to switch him up with a more major league ready player in Gillespie.
That’s not to say we should expect much from the Blue Jays most recent addition. If anything, it could be an indictment of the Jays lack of faith in Kevin Pillar, who was recently optioned after tossing his bat into the dugout. Personal issues aside, Pillar’s OPS of .520 doesn’t exactly expel much confidence. Although he’s been better against left-handed pitching, it makes sense the Blue Jays might want to give another right-handed bat a try before they go back to Pillar.