Sep 27, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays left fielder Kevin Pillar (22) catches a fly ball from Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Kelly Johnson (not pictured) in the second inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
The Toronto Blue Jays are running into a shortage of bench depth once again, and as such are making a move to resolve that on Tuesday. According to Mike Wilner (via Shi Davidi), the Blue Jays will be recalling outfielder Kevin Pillar prior to Tuesday’s game.
As Wilner notes, there is no corresponding move yet to be announced. However, with Colby Rasmus leaving last night’s game lingering soreness in his hamstring, that left the Blue Jays with just three players who could play in the outfield in Jose Bautista, Melky Cabrera, and Steve Tolleson. By recalling Pillar, they get a versatile outfielder that can play in all three slots. But Pillar is being brought up for more than just his glove. In 34 games with the Buffalo Bisons, Pillar has slashed .305/.344/.461, with 17 extra base hits and 19 RBI. Additionally, Pillar has been on fire over the last 10 games. In that span, he’s collected 17 hits in 42 at-bats (.405), with 7 of them going for extra bases. This is the second trip to Toronto for the right-handed hitter. In 2013, Pillar struggled to a .205/.250/.333 slash-line, including a miserable K/BB ratio of 29:4. That approach has improved drastically back in Buffalo this spring, with Pillar’s ratio improving to 16:9. For now, the Blue Jays are hoping that Rasmus avoids the disabled list. After a slow start in April, Rasmus has been better in May, slashing .286/.318/.714 this month, including 5 of his 9 home runs in the last 10 games. UPDATE: The Blue Jays have officially announced the call-up of Kevin Pillar. In a corresponding move, Jonathan Diaz has been optioned back to Triple-A Buffalo.