One Year Ago Today:
Kevin Pillar stole second, third and then home, scoring us a big insurance run in a win over the Yankees.
Sometimes I feel bad because I think I’m overly mean to Pillar. There are moments where he irritates me (yesterday swinging at a pitch at head level comes to mind). I’d love him to walk more.
But he does have value. 14.6 bWAR career (that puts him 20th all time among position players in Blue Jays history). Sometimes we talk about him like we’d like the team to release him, but he should have some trade value. I think the team thought they had a trade for him in place before the first game of the season, when we heard reports of Anthony Alford being in Toronto and then Alford went back to Buffalo, so we had to figure something fell through.
His cold stretches test our patience (and I’ll admit mine often fails the test), then he’ll go on a 3 week stretch where he seems to be able to hit any pitch. He could start on one of those hot steaks any time now....
Anyway, Pillar has given us so many highlight moments, but this is one of the best ever. Kevin had Dellin Betances so worried he couldn’t even throw straight. It isn’t like Betances was a rookie. He was 30-years-old, he had played in about 300 MLB games. And yet Pillar made him look like a little league pitcher.
Even with all the great catches, this is my favorite Pillar moment, at least to this point in his career.