On Twitter, Blue Jays radio play-by-play man Mike Wilner was discussing potential lineup configurations. A fan wondered why Pillar wasn’t a viable leadoff candidate. Wilner said that outfielder Kevin Pillar wasn’t one of the Blue Jays’ best hitters. Pillar responded:
Wilner retorted, saying he would rank Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, and Troy Tulowitzki ahead of Pillar.
One could even throw Russell Martin on Wilner’s list, as well. Pillar hit .278/.314/.399 during the regular season. The batting average ranked fourth of nine Jays with at least 300 plate appearances, but the on-base percentage was eighth of nine and the slugging percentage was seventh of nine. Going by adjusted OPS, which accounts for league and park factors and sets 100 as the average, Pillar’s 96 was a few ticks below average and fell behind many of his teammates, including the aforementioned five as well as Chris Colabello, Justin Smoak, Ben Revere, Devon Travis, and Danny Valencia (the latter three did not meet the 300 PA threshold).
Wilner makes a good point, and it’s Pillar’s subpar on-base percentage in particular that makes him a poor fit atop the Blue Jays’ lineup.
ST. LOUIS — Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 701st home run, connecting Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Pujols launched a slider from former teammate Johan Oviedo over the Big Mac Land sign in left field at Busch Stadium. The solo drive in the fourth inning made it 1-all.
Pujols faced Oviedo for the first time and made the 24-year-old righty the 456th different pitcher he’s homered against.
The St. Louis star hadn’t homered in a week since hitting No. 699 and 700 at Dodger Stadium last Friday. Pujols had gone 10 at-bats without a home run after two starts and one pinch-hit appearance.
The Busch Stadium crowd gave the 42-year-old Pujols a long standing ovation before he came out of the Cardinals dugout to tip his cap for a curtain call.
Pujols hit his 22nd home run this season for the NL Central champion Cardinals.
Pujols is fourth on the career home run list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).