Pillar went 3-for-4 with a pair of steals in Wednesday's win over Boston.
Despite doing that fine work at the top of the order, Pillar was unable to come around and score thanks to the failings of Toronto's middle-of-the-order sluggers. He's been one of the only guys who's producing, as Pillar's hitting a smooth .345, although he only has two RBI and three runs. The steals were also his first two of the season.
Pillar went 2-for-5 with a two-run home run, his first of the year, and a double in Sunday's loss to the Orioles.
The Jays turned to Pillar to fill the leadoff role for a third straight contest Sunday, and he rewarded the club with his best game of the season. The outfielder is riding a modest five-game hitting streak that includes a .385 (5-for-13) batting average when hitting first in the lineup. Devon Travis, who Pillar displaced atop the order, went a paltry 3-for 31 (.097) in his time at leadoff, so it looks like the latter will continue to see extra at-bats as the team's table setter.
Pillar has spent most of the season thus far toward the bottom of the batting order, and although he has only amassed a .242 batting average, manager John Gibbons will place him atop the lineup in an effort to jolt the Blue Jays offense into action. This could help Pillar garner a few more runs scored if he can maintain this position in the order.
Pillar turned in the best exhibition season of his career with a .345/.406/.500 slash line over 58 Grapefruit League at-bats.
The center fielder led the team in hits (20) and doubles (7) this spring while owning the best on-base percentage among the 17 players with 30-plus at-bats. Assuming he's healthy, Pillar is a lock for 550 plate appearances in a potent Blue Jays lineup -- albeit from the lower-third of the order. Volume alone should afford the 28-year-old a chance to contribute across many formats.
Pillar said he and the Jays organization hid the fact that he was playing with a "torn thumb" for a majority of last season's second half, the Toronto Star reports.
Pillar acknowledged that the torn thumb ligament -- an injury he suffered in early August while sliding into second base -- never fully healed last season, despite a short stint on the DL. "You don't want your opponent to know that you're hurt. If people knew that I was playing with a torn thumb, maybe they'd pitch me differently, maybe I'm not as effective. It wasn't the same as playing with two hands, but I don't use it as an excuse," Pillar said. The Jays' center fielder has never been known for his power at the dish, but the .333 slugging percentage Pillar posted after the 2016 All-Star break was significantly below the .401 mark he achieved during the campaign's first half. The 28-year-old says he's completely healthy now, and if Pillar's spring effort is any indication, it appears he's telling the truth. Through 18 Grapefruit League at-bats, Pillar is hitting .444/.500/.667 with four doubles. If Devon Travis (knee) begins the season on the DL -- and Travis is headed down that path -- Pillar may be the team's leadoff hitter on Opening Day.
|4/24/2017 vs Los Angeles|
|vs Los Angeles||14||3||2||.267||.643||.214|
|vs Price (Career)||12||2||1||.417||.167||.167|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
| 23 |
| 24 |
| 25 |
| 26 |
| 27 |
| 28 |
| 30 |
| 1 |
| 2 |
| 3 |
| 4 || 5 |
|More Batting Stats|
|Postseason Batting Stats|
|Minor League Batting Stats|
|2011||R-Bluefield Blue Jays||60||236||44||82||17||3||7||37||10||36||8||4||.377||.534||.347|
|2012||AFA-Dunedin Blue Jays||42||164||16||53||8||2||1||34||5||17||16||3||.339||.415||.323|
|2013||AA-New Hampshire Fisher||71||304||44||95||20||2||5||30||19||31||15||8||.361||.441||.313|