Oct 19, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Fans applaud Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (6) as he leaves the game seventh inning in game three of the ALCS against the Kansas City Royals at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
The entire season that the Blue Jays just had could be considered surprising. Which aspect was the biggest surprise though?
The J.J. YEAs are coming to a close. Surely a surprise to all who thought they would go on daily until the victory parade raged down Yonge Street. The final award will be given to the player or aspect of the 2015 season that was the biggest surprise. Unsurprisingly, the writing staff of Jays Journal could not agree on the Biggest Surprise. Hence, surprise! Five players or events will be recapped on the ensuing pages!
A few of these players have been talked about already during the awards season, hence their inclusion here will come as no surprise. Will there still be a surprise sprung by a couple of the choices here? Perhaps. Or perhaps the word “surprise” has lost all meaning by this point. Maybe that was the biggest surprise of all. OK, that was the last one. Let’s move on to the honorees.
Honorable Mention: Kevin Pillar
Pillar has been mentioned during this series of awards articles almost as often as the words “surprise” in the paragraphs. His comeback from his bat-slamming incident last year has been driven by his hustling nature, and it led to a vastly improved season. The most surprising thing about his season is that he had the chance to play as often as he did.
Pillar was supposed to be the fourth outfielder, but the injury to Michael Saunders pushed him into the lineup. Once he was there he made sure he wasn’t going to leave it, his defense proving invaluable to the team. As he slid over to take center field duties, his amazing range was expanded and the outfield defense that had been a liability in prior seasons was now a strength. The man who was supposed to be a backup ended up leading the Blue Jays by appearing in 159 games this season. He also delivered another surprise, with good and bad implications, in September…
Next: Honorable Mention: A Surprise Late Entry to the Team