While their record doesn’t reflect where the team was expected to be at this point in the season, you have to give some credit to the Toronto Blue Jays as they haven’t given up on the season just yet. Yet, for a team that’s underperformed across the board and currently sits in last place in a tough division there comes a point in the season where you start to play for the future. Toronto might be nearing that point, but the team is still determined to put a roster on the field that their fan base can be proud of.
Toronto made a pair of moves Wednesday – trading Emilio Bonifacio to the Kansas City Royals and placing Colby Rasmus on the disabled list – that necessitated adding two new players to the roster. Infielder Munenori Kawasaki was recalled. Outfielder Kevin Pillar had his contract purchased. Both players had been with the team’s Triple-A affiliate.
Kawasaki is a clear fan favorite in Toronto thanks to his personality and timeliness during stints with the team earlier this season. Overall he’s hit just .213/.319/.298 in 216 PA, far from inspiring offensive numbers, but he’s still brought value to the team off the bench and will be a welcome addition to the roster. With Bonifacio gone, there figures to be plenty of playing time opportunities as Kawasaki should be able to provide depth at both middle infield spots as well as potentially third base, if needed in a pinch.
Pillar, however, is a move exciting much of the Blue Jays fan base. The outfielder’s become widely known as being an incredibly hard working and dedicated player, just take a look at what some of his teammates were Tweeting when news of his callup started to spread (h/t to Kyle Franzoni at Jays Journal for collecting these). Pillar has split the season between Double-A and Triple-A. Combined in 545 PA between the two levels he’s hit .307/.353/.461 with an impressive 54 extra base hits (39 2B, 6 3B, 9 HR) and 23 stolen bases. Pillar made his MLB Debut this evening, starting in left field against the Boston Red Sox and has gone 0 for 4 at the plate.