Former Blue Jays fan favorite reaches 10 years of service time, intends to retire at season's end

Pillar a former fan favorite announced that he's planning to retire at the end of the season
Houston Astros v Toronto Blue Jays
Houston Astros v Toronto Blue Jays / Tom Szczerbowski/GettyImages

Just a few days ago, former Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Pillar celebrated 10 years of MLB service time ahead of the Angels game against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. To commemorate this honor, Pillar celebrated with his teammates pre-game with his locker decorated in gold stars and balloons which spelt out his name.

Pillar was drafted by the Blue Jays in 2011 as a 32nd round pick out of Cal State Dominguez Hills and made his MLB debut in August of 2013. Pillar spent the better part of six seasons with Toronto before he was traded to the Giants in exchange for Derek Law, Alen Hansen and Juan De Paula. Pillar was best known for defensive abilities where he was a three-time Gold Glove finalist. He was given the nickname 'Superman' after he robbed Tim Beckham of a home run in deep left field against the Rays in 2015, in what Keegan Matheson described as 'the best play of the decade.' Additional defensive highlights include: robbing Mookie Betts of extra bases in 2017 against the Red Sox and making an incredible leaping catch against Cleveland in the same year in what Ryan Goins described as: 'one of the best catches I've ever seen him make.'

Even though Pillar was prone to inconsistencies offensively, he still batted .260 with 55 home runs with 230 RBI throughout his Blue Jays tenure. After he was traded to the Giants in 2019, he had his best offensive season since 2016 batting .264 with 21 home runs, 87 RBI and 14 stolen bases. He was non-tendered at the end of the season and spent the 2020 season with the Red Sox and Rockies. He suffered offensive drop offs with the Mets, Dodgers and Braves before the Angels signed him on April 30th to a one-year $740,000 contract after he was released by the White Sox. He is having a major bounce back year so far batting .299 with 6 home runs 26 RBI and an OPS of .867.

Just recently after hitting his decade-long milestone, Pillar said it's likely that he'll retire at the end of the season even though he recently achieved his 1,00th career hit against the Rangers and his 100th career stolen base on May 15. Whatever Pillar decides to do at the end of the season he'll always be remembered as one of the best defensive outfielders the Blue Jays have ever had. Providing plenty of entertainment along the way and for playing a crucial role in the playoff runs back in 2015 and 2016. For now, Pillar will just 'enjoy it and continue to play for the love of the game.'