Less than half and hour after we discussed how Kevin Pillar has overcome the John Gibbons doghouse to be named as an International League postseason All-Star, the Toronto Blue Jays have freed the outfielder from his purgatory. According to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet, the Blue Jays will recall Pillar prior to Tuesday’s game against the Boston Red Sox.
As discussed earlier, the 25-year-old has made the most of his opportunity with Buffalo, slashing .323/.359/.509 with 10 home runs, 59 RBI, 27 stolen bases, and a 136 wRC+ in 100 games with the Bisons. However, he had yet to be rewarded for those efforts prior to today’s promotion, despite being named International League batter of the week on August 3rd and putting together a 21 game hit streak from July 25th through August 14th.
In 26 games with the Blue Jays in 2014, the 25-year-old put together a .225/.220/.300 batting line, while striking out 11 times with no walks in 41 plate appearances. His career splits of .183/.212/.293 against right-handed pitching lead to a strict platoon situation during his last stay, with Pillar splitting time with Anthony Gose earlier this year. When he was lifted for Gose with right-hander Dellin Detances on the mound, it prompted the young outfielder to take offense, and resulted in his banishment to Buffalo the next day.
To make room on the active roster, the Blue Jays will designate Nolan Reimold for assignment.
A reclamation project to being with, Reimold made just 4 appearances with the Blue Jays before a calf injury forced the oft-injured outfielder to the disabled list. He returned with a bang, notching two home runs in his second game back off the DL. However, the production has dwindled from there, with Reimold posting a meager .143/.220/.171 slash-line since August 1st, striking out in 18 of his 41 plate appearances.
As Davidi notes, by designating Reimold for assignment, the Blue Jays will clear a spot on their 40-man roster. With rosters expanding on September 1st, this will open a spot to activate Brandon Morrow from the 60-day disabled list, should he be ready, or to promote top prospect Daniel Norris, who has recently moved to the bullpen in preparation of being recalled in September.