The Toronto Blue Jays announced prior to this evening’s game against the New York Yankees that outfielders Anthony Gose and Kevin Pillar have both been called up. Brett Lawrie was moved to the DL with a broken index finger while Erik Kratz was optioned. Shi Davidi of Sportsnet had it first on Twitter.
Gose, 23, is batting .233/.347/.291 in 34 games for the Blue Jays with three stolen bases in six attempts. He started off his major league season on fire but his OPS dropped from .744 in May to .508 in June over approximately the same number of plate appearances. The left-handed hitter provides plus defense in center field and has range for days.
Pillar, 25, is slashing .243/.237/.324 in 24 games and because he’s reached on an error but not yet walked his batting average is actually higher than his on-base percentage. When it comes to Pillar, it’s all about the splits. He’s rather hopeless against righties with a .417 OPS but is hitting lefties to the tune of .280/.269/.360, which is respectable enough for a fourth outfielder. And according to Bisons’ play-by-play guy Ben Wagner, Pillar has been raking in Buffalo of late.
Gose doesn’t have noticeable splits and struggles rather equally against both right and left handed pitching. He has one hit and two walks since he was optioned to Buffalo less than a week ago.
The demotion of Kratz was necessary to clear the necessary room for both Gose and Pillar. Kratz has been a nice weapon for the Blue Jays off the bench and had a game-winning double against Aroldis Chapman on Friday but with both Dioner Navarro and Josh Thole ahead of him on the depth chart (rightfully so or not) and Bautista’s status uncertain optioning either him or Thole was necessary.
Thankfully Adam Lind is back in tonight’s lineup and will DH and bat third. It doesn’t sound like Lind is 100% according to John Lott of the National Post but says he has no choice but to play at the moment.
According to Mike Wilner of Sportsnet The FAN 590, Bautista has a mild hamstring strain and will hopefully only be out for a couple of days.