GOODBYE KEVIN PILLAR!!!!!!1!!!
Brad Glenn, eh?
A 23rd rounder taken by the Jays in 2009 as a college senior, Glenn has taken a slow rise through the Jays system essentially as a non-prospect who was a little old for the levels he was competing at. At Lansing in 2010 Glenn was in his age-23 season, playing with a group of hitters with an average age of 21.4. He was a year older than the average age of his non-pitcher teammates the following year at Dunedin, and was exactly on average at 25 in New Hampshire in 2012, though that average is somewhat misleading, given the lack of real prospects the Jays had at the level — only Jake Marisnick (21) and A.J. Jimenez (22) among that group look like players with the potential to be more than just fringe big leaguers at best. And that year, Glenn didn’t even hit.
Posting a .239/.291/.440 line over 461 plate appearances as a 25-year-old in Double-A is a pretty quick way to become an afterthought. Glenn always did show decent raw power, though, posting ISOs in about the .200 range at each of his minor league stints, and hitting 17, 26, 19, and 22 home runs in the four years from 2010 to 2013. But he always struck out too much, and he never walked enough… until 2013.
After walking just 29 times in those 461 plate appearances at New Hampshire in 2012, he repeated the level at walked 45 times in 477 plate appearances in 2013, earning a brief call-up to Buffalo, where he was even better. He began 2014 back at New Hampshire, though — a fairly clear sign of where he stood in the Jays’ pecking order, one assumed — and upped his walk rate again, though everything else seemed to go south (his strikeout rate jumped to 28.4%, for example).
Still, he was shuffled to Buffalo in mid-May, and rather than looking like the org. guy he pretty plainly seems to be, he went on an absolute tear. In 122 plate appearances over the last six weeks he’s hit .377/.418/.570. The walks have disappeared again, but who needs walks when everything you put in play falls for a hit? Or… well, not everything, just 45.9% of his balls in play have led to him being on base. Is a .459 BABIP remotely sustainable? Hells naw! Can he continue to hit like this over multiple-hundred big league plate appearances? No offence to Brad, but I have precisely zero fucking faith.
But… I dunno. Ride the hot hand, I guess. And as Ken Rosenthal, commenting on a Jays minor move for some reason, tweets, the Jays have eight of twelve upcoming games against left-handed starters, and also notes that Glenn can play a little first base, which could be important with Adam Lind’s foot hurting, and Edwin Encarnacion seemingly being fine — he’s back in the lineup today — but having suffered a scary collision with Mark Teixeira last night.
Oh, and there’s another aspect to all this. Last night, in a key situation in the bottom of the eighth inning, after walking to the plate, assuming, for some reason, he’d face the right-handed Dellin Betances, Kevin Pillar strode to the plate. He was then called back to the dugout, as Anthony Gose was coming in to pinch hit for him — the obvious move, given their lefty-righty splits. But obvious or not, Pillar clearly wasn’t happy. Cameras on the Sportsnet broadcast showed him throwing his bat down the dugout stairs, moving to the bench to briefly take a seat, then walking over to John Gibbons for a brief chat. Gibbons is hidden by the dugout wall in the image above, but in the background you can clearly see Pillar as he tosses a glove — the white blob just above the corner of the wall — to the dugout floor while in conversation with his manager.