The Blue Jays decided prior to the start of the third game of their four-game series against the Rangers on Wednesday, that Jose Bautista would serve as the leadoff hitter going forward, not Kevin Pillar, MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm reports.
Pillar has batted leadoff in 58 of the Jays’ 70 games, but he hasn’t hit much, batting .246/.300/.400 with eight home runs and 18 RBI in 305 plate appearances. Bautista hasn’t been much better, batting .221/.333/.403 with 12 home runs and 31 RBI in 300 PA, but he’s better at drawing walks.
The reconfiguration also allows Russell Martin to move to the No. 2 spot followed by Josh Donaldson, Justin Smoak, and Kendrys Morales.
The Twins’ Dustin Morse announced on Thursday that the Reds claimed first baseman Kennys Vargas off waivers. The Twins had designated him for assignment last Friday.
Vargas was a man without a spot on the Twins’ roster as he has only played first base and DH, but the club has Joe Mauer and Logan Morrison for those spots. The Reds aren’t much better as Joey Votto lays claim to first base and there is no DH in the National League. Vargas switch-hits and has some power, so he will presumably provide that off the bench for the Reds.
Across parts of four seasons in the majors, Vargas has hit .252/.311/.437 with 35 home runs and 116 RBI in 859 plate appearances.