pillartied

Kevin Pillar providing a visual approximation of what AA is doing to this club with his roster management.

So, remember last night, when I defended the Jays’ decision to call up Jonathan Diaz and not, say, Kevin Pillar? Y’know, the guy who, despite being the hot bat at Buffalo right now, isn’t far into his triple-A career and struggled mightily last year when pressed into big league action, about whom I wrote, “that doesn’t mean the Jays should necessarily shield him, but is it an ideal situation to bring him up and hope the hot bat continues in the big leagues in a limited role? Is it not defensible to choose to not introduce him to such potential for failure, and just let him continue to apprentice at the triple-A level?”

Well… about that.

The game of musical chairs continued today for the Jays, as Diaz was optioned back to Buffalo, and with Colby Rasmus exiting last night’s game with a tight hamstring, it was indeed Pillar who got the call to re-join the big club. He’ll start tonight in centre.

I don’t even know, man — and not just because I seem to have this damn cold that’s going around (and take two guesses at what that means for the likelihood of a podcast in the next day or three). I do know one thing, though:

So… yeah. It’s frustrating.

On the other hand, Pillar really is a hot bat: a .305/.344/.461 slash line, a .361 wOBA, a 124 wRC+, coming off a streak of reaching base in 26 straight games (or something), and, excluding a cold six games to start the season, actually slashing a ridiculous .353/.397/.543 since then. And as a damn right-handed bat, too. He’s not really a platoon guy — his splits are fairly even in Buffalo — but as far as being a genuine replacement for Rajai Davis, the right-hitting platoon DH slash spare outfielder that the Jays have sought all season, he’s about as close as this organization has got. Maybe it works.

Comments (115)

  1. Theory: Someone is holding AA’s family hostage, demanding at least one roster move per day.

  2. I bet chad Jenkins already had his bag packed,. Actually I’m guessing he probably doesn’t unpack anymore

  3. Why does Gibbons continue to use everyone BUT the only other outfielder who has played CF on an everyday basis, Melky, in CF when Rasmus is out? Theyre going to get burned on this sooner rather than later, and it will cost them a game.

    • Because Bautista looks better there than Melky does?

    • Jose played CF in winter ball for a few years, so he does have experience. He’s no gazelle, but he generally reads the ball well.

    • its not like you are putting bautista over a current credible CF.

      Both bautista and Melky have no business in CF.

    • Courtesy of Jays Journal…..

      “I was very impressed with Pillar’s arm strength and accuracy watching him this year for the Blue Jays. He had 17 outfield assists last year in the minors and does a good job controlling the running game and making smart decisions with his throws.

      As a corner outfielder, he’s above average defensively and in center I’d consider him average or at the very least adequate. He has good instincts and makes up for average speed by taking smarts routes to the ball.

      He isn’t quick enough to be considered a threat on the base paths but will keep opposing catchers honest by taking off at times.”

    • Kemp’s played CF for years, I wouldnt say he’s too far off defensively from what Bau would be like patrolling there on a routine basis. Right now Bau’s the better fielder (than Melk)

  4. alex won’t release any player under contract for fear that rogers will think he’s mispending money. Are rogers execs that stupid? does he think that they don’t understand the business they’re in? business’ write off crap all the time for hundreds of millions yet alex thinks a measly 5 mil write off will get him fired. It really boggles the mind what goes on here.

  5. Endless roster tweaking is the new market inefficiency

  6. He look overwhelmed at the plate last year.

    Hopefully he’s able to put some better AB”s together this time around.

  7. Damnit. I JUST picked up Rasmus in my fantasy pool.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is…sorry guys. This one is on me.

  8. AA’s managing like a Wall Street trader – dealing like he’s getting a commission on each move.

  9. I don’t see why anyone keeps making comments about AA.

    Rasmus is hurting a bit so you bring up someone who can handle his position, wouldn’t any GM do the same?

    The jays lack a strong bench, we get it. So we don’t have a Rajai or good utility infielder who can handle every position, which means our bench gets tweak based on the health and performance of our core guys. doesn’t it make perfect sense?

    • I just wrote a long post about it as a comment on the last post that I’m sure is going to get ignored now, but the only team in the AL East with a stronger bench than the Jays so far this year has been the Yankees, and they’ve had to use those bench players in key roles because Soriano and Beltran have been useless.

      I guess since there hasn’t been one specific player to pin all our frustrations on this year, it’s fallen to the bench. There have been a lot of players getting playing time here and there, but the bench as a whole has been surprisingly effective.

  10. I wouldn’t have minded seeing Gose up here again. He didn’t look completely lost as the plate this time around.

  11. Funny I was just reading about Cletus’ hamstring tweak and thought great, outfield is gonna look spectacular… I just really don’t like Bautista in CF.

    Hopefully Pillar can find it this time around. It’s good to see hustle and success together.

    • Pessimism just hit me and made me realize Pillar can do as well as he wants he’s still gonna get sent back down within a week (assuming this Rasmus hammy problem is similar to the last one) because they won’t just DFA a damn pitcher. Guess we’ll see.

  12. AA is going to go blind grow hair on his palms with all these moves

  13. I wonder if guys like Jenkins and Diaz are thankful that the yo-yo trips to AAA are just a short trek down the QEW…or if they’re royally bummed that they have to play in Buffalo as opposed to Las Vegas.

  14. Pillar makes sense, and maybe he can stick around as the 4th OF.

    Thing I don’t get is why it wasn’t a reliever? Shouldn’t the bullpen be fine now? Other than Delabar I would expect everyone to be available tonight.

  15. SWEEP CLEVELAND

    That is all.

  16. What does this mean for Gose? Must be a bit of a tough pill for him to swallow.

    • Gose’s career may have peaked in 2010, sadly

    • Hasn’t been 10 days yet.

      Also: be fucking serious, the both of you.

    • it does speak volumes that Pillar doesn’t even fit the Jays need as well as Gose does and he still got the call.

      i guess that’ll happen when you slash .260/.339/.374 over 3 seasons at AAA (including a full season in Vegas without which the numbers are much, much worse), while your current teammate, less than 5 months your senior, hits .301/.342/.480 over the last two years in AAA without the benefit of a hitters haven.

      • Hasn’t… been…

        … ten days.

        • heh… allow me to slide back under my rock…

          although truth be told, if they really wanted Gose, the ten days is up tomorrow. they could have got away with Bautista in CF for another game.

      • In addition it not being 10 days yet, Gose is a lefty. We’ve got a number of starters with lefty platoon issues, so a hopefully effective righty bat is hugely important right now.

  17. Happy to see Pillar getting a shot. I thought he showed a solid approach in his big league stint last year, despite the prolonged o-fer. Hopefully the bat stays hot on the ride north. I know it’s ridiculously early in his career to say this, but he reminds me a bit of a young Paul Molitor (physically similar, short-ish swing with some pop, etc.). He’s just 3000 or so hits shy. Let’s hope he gets a few hits closer while Colby’s out.

  18. Maybe as simple as: 8 man bullpen = short bench. Reyes day off = extra IF needed. Rasmus day(s) off = extra OF needed.

    Ideally you wouldn’t need to make a roster move every time you need different type of backup but with an 8 man rotation (not to mention a personal catcher for Dickey) there doesn’t seem to be a lot of options to cover both IF and OF positions adequately.

    • Thole has earned is sport this year, he is no longer just the personal catcher for Dickey

      • Agreed, thankfully. And I considered that when writing. All I mean is that you now can’t have Kratz and Dinner on the roster at the same time without further hampering your flexibility (as was recently the case).

        • How badly do you think Kratz would be in left field? The need to craft the uber bench player again kinda like they were doing with Gomes before they traded him. That way they can have a 9 men bullpen

      • 2 extra base hits in 38 at-bats proves he’s no longer dogshit?

  19. In 201 at bats, 7 minor league/waiver wire call-ups produced this slash line for the Jays this year:

    .246/.331/24 R/29 RBI/7 HR/4 SB

    thats about 50-60 more at bats than the regulars, like EE and Jose who’ve stayed relatively healthy all year

    most of that is alsoFrancisco’s hot tear and a couple skewed OBP/avg marks from guys like Gose who barely were up in the bigs, but still, thats not bad production overall for some weird 6th man mish mash that AA has culled from 7 different players

    maybe AA has some merit to all this roster madness, maybe not . . . these #’s are small sample size but it definitely seems the bench has been more productive this year and none of those above #’s even account for things like defense either

  20. also pretty funny, is this above slash line is almost identical to what Mark DeRosa put up last year in 204 at bats and I know that ended up being discussed as a quiet bright spot by season’s end

  21. This would be a good time to lock Colby up with an extension. Seriously. He isn’t off to a great start and is having little injury woes. And he seems to like it here compared to with the Cards. Great chance to get him for 4/40. Not that I expect they’ll do it.

    I remember when AA would lock these guys up on good deals.

    • Zero chance of 4/40. Zero.

      • Zero chance of 4/40? Really? Can’t we put him in QO hell? Right now he has negative WAR and is injured. Leg problems with a 27 year old CF has to be a big caution flag, no?

        On the flip side, if he is worth 9 figures, then even a shitty hitting Gose is worth a fortune. He might end up being better on D overall and they both are hitting like shit. We’ll get stolen bases instead of home runs – when the guy makes it on base. I’ll take that trade-off if it saves that much money.

        And before anyone jumps me here – I like Colby and my original comment was let’s sign the guy.

    • AA: “Hey Colby, since you’re not off to a great start this year, we want to offer a lot less money than you would receive on the open market because it would work favourably for the team.”

      Now, I don’t know how AA operates, but I’m hoping he wouldn’t use that exact wording in contract negotiations. But I don’t care how he words it, Rasmus has to see the value in a contract too. That type of deal clearly only benefits one side.

      • Why would AA say that Philbert? That is as dumb as saying “Hey now that you’re hot again and not injured, we want to sign you for way less than you’ll get out there.”

        Maybe AA will just be professional and say “Hiya Colby. I like you. Want to stay with us in Toronto? Want to discuss a deal??

    • It takes two to tango and it is nuts to think Tony is going to let Cletus re-up for $10 mil avg with the weak crop of free agent OF. The time to re-sign him was in the off season. The hairy Hillbilly will be walking at the end of the year.

  22. Maybe AA has 2 browser tabs open and keeps mistaking the Jays site for his fantasy team tab?

    My fantasy league only allows 4 moves per week though…

  23. posed this question in last nights game thread, curious what the consensus is:

    you can resign one of Colby or Melky to identical 5 year deals this offseason, who do you pick?

    • Colby

    • Definitely Melky

      • I agree with Melky. His contact driven skillset at the plate is likely to age much better than Colby’s powerful but whiff-happy approach. There’s also a much greater level of consistency in Melky’s offensive game (as long as he doesn’t have a tumour in his back apparently), whereas Colby seems to be at the mercy of wild swings in BABIP.

        the defense is a thing, but i think Melky has enough bat to transition to DH if need be, whereas i’m not sure Colby does (questionable if he could even get by in a corner spot).

        their slash lines over the last 3 years:

        Melky: .314/.353/.465
        Colby: .237/.303/.431

        • *steriods involved

        • Also think this is a great question, also gotta go with Melky, though I gotta wonder if they would score the same contract term given relative age. Could see Colby getting 6 elsewhere

    • Great question. I’d say Colby. Assuming health, the guy truly does cover an insane amount of ground out there. It’s called a premium position for a reason.

      Having said that, I was told there is zero chance of getting him at 4/40. Even with a current leg issue and negative WAR. AND most importantly, with our ability to stick a QO on him. If the price is going to be much higher than that, just take Gose I say.

    • Melky. Colby already strikes out a lot. Imagine him when his career starts to decline. Yikes.

      • I have to say Melky too, though I love me some Cletus. You can get arguably the same level of D from Gose but you’d be hard pressed to replace the hits Melky provides. Plus I think Melky would always be cheaper than Rasmus.

    • Before the season started I would’ve gone with Colby for sure, but now… not only is Melky hitting like a god, they could probably work out a pretty team-friendly contract because “herp derp PEDs”

      It’s still pretty close. I’d be glad with either of them really

  24. Not sure why people are freakingnover the number of roster moves. AA is the scrappy young blue collar gm making the most of his limited talent pool. Front office Johnny Mac

  25. I have mentioned my reasoning a couple of times, so it should be no surprise in an either/or argument that I would select Melky as I think now that his tumour is history he is a legitimate .300 threat and a switch-hitter to boot.
    Of late, Rasmus has been showing signs of leg issues. couple of weeks ago it was the left Hammy, now it si the right hammy giving him probs. This could linger all year. Can’t see the Jays giving him Adam Jones type money ( 5/75) but I think that is what he is looking for. If he is not signed up by 7/31 then I think you have your answer

  26. Not sure if they can afford either actually. Isn’t it next year Reyes and behrle’s cotracts increase quite a bit? Maybe save 10m though if they don’t pick up Morrow and dump Lind.

  27. They might not be able to re-sign EITHER Colby or Melky.
    According to BP/MLB Depth Charts they have $93.75m
    committed to Buehrle, Reyes, Bats, EE, RA, Romero, Navarro & Izturis.
    That is $ 93.7m to 7 players plus Romero.

    They have another $ 34.2m in options that they may or may not pick up.
    Morrow (10) Lind (7.5) Happ (6.7) Santos (6) and McGowan(4)
    If they pick them all up, that is $127.95m for 12 players.
    If they decline some, it will likely cost close to as much for replacements.
    They also have an option on Thole, but the $ is T.B.D.

    Cecil is 3rd time arb, Rogers 2nd time,
    with Lawrie, Hutch, Delabar and Loup all 1st time.
    Gotta be another 5-8 million in arb awards
    Now you’re up to $ 132-135m.

    http://www.mlbdepthcharts.com/toronto-blue-jays-payroll/

    And you still need 2B, LF, CF, and 3 other guys.
    Stroman would be at league minimum.

    Point is, if the budget remains in the $140m neighborhood,
    it is hard to see them making any significant additions
    without shedding salary elsewhere.
    Pillar in left and Gose in centre (or similar)
    may be what we get.

  28. True , but I think the chance of them picking up all of those options is zero. Plus there is always the possibility of trade to cut $$$.
    Personally, some of this will depend on how they fare this year-do well and they may be a little more generous-play bad and let the haircutting begin.
    I think Morrow at 10m is a NO, SAntos at 6m a likely NO, Happ if he is still around No at 6.2. So;;there is 26,2 right there.
    As well, some of the arb eligibles , like Rogers if he is still here , are likely declined like we did with JPA-walk son.
    SO, thatis about 30m or so, so t have the money to do Melky and likey Colby too if they wish andstill ahve money left to do something if they don’t go el cheapo again.
    aLSO, Lind may be dumped for the mimimum guy Fransisco, or traded-again depending on how the seson goes

    • I agree with you on the options being declined.
      But then you have to replace those guys.

      They are going to need
      a) an increase in budget,
      or b) a trade to reduce $
      or c) internal pre-arb guys to fill some of the spots
      …..or maybe a combination of all three……

      Highly unlikely, imho, that simply adding $14-20m
      to current budget is going to fly.

  29. This is what involuntarily fires up in my head when I try to make sense of the 2014 season.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MK6TXMsvgQg

  30. Prediction for tonight’s game: Dickey throws a no-no.
    Free beer for any DJFer who ever comes to Edmonton if I’m wrong.

  31. Just for a special treat, I’m sending a shout out from the First Place Birds, the Orioles, to the Last Place Shit Birds, the Blue Jokes. No point riding you pathetic Asshats. You all know how totally shit the Blue Jokes are for yet another year. How many years in a row is it now that your team has been shit anyway? About 84?

    I got a joke for you guys that I thought you might like. Goes like this.

    A Blue Joke walks into a bar.

    Bartender says:

    Hee hee Ha. HA HA HA

    MWA HA HA HA HA HA HA! BWA HA HA HAHA!

    BWA HAHA HAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHA! BWA HA HA! BWA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA1

    BWA HA HA FUCKING BLUE JOKES! BWAHAHAHAHHA MWA HAHAHAHA!! BWAHHAHA FUCKING LAST PLACE!!! BWA HA HA!

  32. Shut the fuck up Zaun. Yeah the bluejays can’t “manufacture” runs against elite pitching……nah, they can only put up runs against the Cole Hamels and Cliff Lees…not the good guys.

    Just talking bullshit narrative without anything backing it up.

    And what’s so good about “manufacturing” runs anyway? I’ve never understood why hitting doubles and triples is good but hitting HR is bad. Do the runs count for less when they’re hit from a HR?

    • The Blue Jokes manufacture runs all the time. They’re like diarrhoea all over the field! People say, ‘does someone have the runs, what’s that brown runny stuff on the field/’. That’s the Blue Jokes!

    • Zaun is such a joke. He’s actually dumber for having played because he thinks his physical skills correlate to his mental (absurdities).

  33. lol Tabby………”See that red area there….that’s where he really pounds the zone”

    Im guessing they thought they were off the air.

  34. Holy Cow !
    Melk my day

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