Blue Jays Morning Brew: Kevin Pillar is the talk of the town


After two consecutive heart-breaking losses to the Tampa Bay Rays, the Toronto Blue Jays weren’t going to leave anything to chance on Wednesday night and road their bats to a 12-7 victory. The Jays got home runs from Jose Bautista, Devon Travis, and Dalton Pompey, while Bautista, Travis, Josh Donaldson, and Justin Smoak all added 2 or more RBI in the game.

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While the bats were fully ignited, the Blue Jays ended up needing every last run. With Toronto up 12-3 in the ninth, John Gibbons opted to stick with Todd Redmond for a third inning of relief and it nearly proved costly. The right-hander was rocked for four earned runs in the top of the ninth before Gibbons finally saw enough and brought in Colt Hynes. Hynes would allow an inherited runner to score, forcing Brett Cecil into the game to finally close out the 12-7 win.

Of course, one has to wonder just how much worse things could have been for Redmond. The box score will show you that Redmond got the lead-off man in the ninth, Tim Beckham, on a fly-ball to left field. However, it doesn’t fully tell the story. We’ll go to the video in order to provide a bit more clarity on the matter.

Pillar has been making quite the name for himself of late and this is just the latest highlight reel catch we’ve seen from him already in the 2015 season. Needless to say, Michael Bradburn at Beyond the Boxscore was absolutely right when they published a story aptly titled ‘Kevin Pillar Belongs Here‘ earlier in the day. Oh, and if you need to catch up on some of those beautiful catches, Bradburn has you hooked up there with some nice GIFs to tell the full story.

Of course, Pillar isn’t the only young player on the Blue Jays roster making noise. Devon Travis is proving the Jays made a good decision to keep him up with the big club. Jamie Ross at discussed how Travis is learning on the go with Toronto, and how he’s putting the experience of the veterans hitting in front of him to good use. Whatever he’s learning, Travis is making the most of it, slashing .323/.382/.581 in his first 9 games in the Major Leagues.

Ross also caught up with Travis, as well as teammates Dalton Pompey, Russell Martin, and manager John Gibbons to discuss Jackie Robinson, who was honored all across Major League Baseball on Wednesday. April 15th was the 68th anniversary of Robinson breaking Major League Baseball’s color barrier, and MLB marks the occasion yearly by having all players across the game wear number 42 to honor the late Robinson and his legacy.

Finally, Shi Davidi provides some good news to Blue Jays fans out there who are worried about the shape of the Toronto bullpen. The Blue Jays will have about $5 to $8 million to work with during the season if any upgrades are needed or should players need to be added to account for injuries down the road. Of course, this is the same $5 to $8 million that the Blue Jays said they had earmarked for the bullpen earlier this winter, so one has to question whether it gets spent or not, but at least it’s nice to know there is a little money in the piggy-bank for a rainy day.

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