Blue Jays recall Pillar, designate Reimold

Kevin Pillar. (CP)

The Toronto Blue Jays will recall Kevin Pillar from the triple-A Buffalo Bisons before Tuesday’s game against the Boston Red Sox, industry sources told Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi. Outfielder Nolan Reimold will be designated for assignment to create roster space for Pillar.

The Blue Jays confirmed the moves Tuesday morning.

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Pillar was demoted to the Bisons on June 25 after struggling at the plate then openly showing frustration at being pinch hit for. He discarded his batting gloves and quietly tossed his bat into the tunnel that leads to the Blue Jays’ clubhouse, prompting manager John Gibbons to explain that there’s no room for such outbursts on the Blue Jays.

“It didn’t help him at all,” Gibbons said at the time. “This is a team game, you know, there’s no room for selfish play.”

Still, Pillar had struggled at the plate in Toronto, posting a .520 OPS in 41 plate appearances spanning 26 games. The right-handed batter has played all three outfield positions for the Blue Jays this year.

Pillar was recently named to the International League All-Star Team along with Bisons reliever Bobby Korecky. The 25-year-old outfielder leads the league in doubles (39) and ranks third in batting average (.323) and extra base hits (52). He has stolen 27 bases and put together a 21-game hit streak earlier in the summer.

By removing Reimold from the roster, the Blue Jays create 40-man roster space that will be required if and when pitchers Brandon Morrow and Daniel Norris join the Blue Jays later in the season.

Reimold, who was selected on waivers from the Baltimore Orioles on July 6, would have been a non-tender candidate had he finished the season with the Blue Jays. He hit two home runs in his sixth game with the Blue Jays, but had slowed down since with a .391 OPS in 16 August games. The 30-year-old has a .687 OPS in 60 total plate appearances with Toronto.

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