The Boston Red Sox have been one of the worst teams in baseball through the early part of the abbreviated 2020 season, and some players tried to address that following their eighth consecutive loss on Sunday night.
After the New York Yankees beat them 4-2, the Red Sox held a meeting outside their team hotel in New York. Kevin Pillar, who is in his first season with Boston, told reporters it has been “extremely difficult to get on the same page with a lot of people” because the typical locker room dynamic at Fenway Park doesn’t exist. He said Red Sox players have been feeling sorry for themselves while their opponents embrace the adversity.
“You look across the dugout (at our opponents) and the guys seem excited and they’re pumped up, high-fiving and making it as normal as possible,” Pillar said. “I think that’s the message we were trying to get across was let’s make this as normal as possible and stop feeling bad for ourselves because we have to wear masks. These are just things that have to be done. It’s 2020, get over it and let’s go out and play and try to have fun with it.”
Sunday’s loss dropped the Red Sox to 6-16 on the season. They’re nearing the halfway point of a 60-game season, so they’ll be out of postseason contention (even with the expanded playoff field) if they can’t turn things around in a hurry.
Boston’s pitching staff has compiled an MLB-worst 6.03 ERA, and JD Martinez had no problem pointing the finger at them following Saturday’s blowout loss. Everything has gone wrong for the Red Sox through 22 games. Time will tell if their team meeting has any impact.
Who needs Mookie Betts when you’ve got Kevin Pillar, right? Maybe that’s what the Boston Red Sox are thinking.
The Red Sox and Pillar are close on agreeing to a contract, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported on Tuesday.
Pillar, 31, is an excellent defensive outfielder who most often plays center field. Though he’s a career .261 hitter, Pillar does have some pop and smacked a career-high 21 homers last season, giving him a .442 slugging percentage. The knock on Pillar as a hitter is he doesn’t walk much and has a .296 career on-base percentage.
The Red Sox would be set to have Pillar in the outfield along with Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Alex Verdugo. There have been rumors that they were looking to trade Bradley, which would make even more sense now. Pillar made $5.8 million in 2019.
Kevin Pillar showed off his incredible glove with a spectacular catch on Saturday that robbed rookie Nick Senzel of a hit, and potentially his first career home run.
Senzel, who was playing in his second career game, belted a 3-2 pitch to deep center off Dereck Rodriguez in the bottom of the third inning of Saturday’s San Francisco Giants-Cincinnati Reds game. Pillar got back to the fence with enough time to climb the wall. He then held himself up to make the catch.
Here’s another angle:
Pillar was up so high that he had to adjust his glove downwards to make the catch, and it’s unclear whether the ball would have hit the wall or gone over the fence for a home run. Either way, it was a sensational grab.
This is the latest in a long line of spectacular catches by Pillar, many of which we’ve cataloged in the past.
The Toronto Blue Jays are in full-on teardown mode, and the San Francisco Giants were happy to take advantage of that by acquiring Kevin Pillar from them in a trade.
The Giants traded Alen Hanson, Derek Law and Juan De Paula to Toronto on Tuesday for Pillar. Pillar is from Los Angeles and a Dodgers fan, so he’s having a hard time getting his friends and family to root for him since he’s now playing for the Dodgers’ biggest rival. Meanwhile, Farhan Zaidi, who acquired Pillar in the trade, feels similarly since he left his front office position with the Dodgers over the offseason to take the Giants job.
During a Thursday interview on KNBR, Zaidi joked that they would burn their Dodger gear together.
Pillar is 0-for-5 so far with the Giants and just 1-for-21 on the season, so he can only go up from here. He is also an excellent defender and should be able to help cover the extensive ground at AT&T Park.
The Toronto Blue Jays have made some moves to rebuild their roster over the past several months, and the latest is trading away veteran outfielder Kevin Pillar.
On Tuesday, the Blue Jays announced that they have traded Pillar to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for three players.
Pillar is off to a slow start with just one hit in 16 at-bats this season. He’s a career .260 hitter who can provide some pop, as he hit 15 home runs in 2018 and 16 the year before. He should give the Giants some solid outfield depth at an inexpensive price.
For most teams, we’re a quarter of the way through the Major League Baseball season, and right about at the point that teams can begin assessing what their prospects are. It’s also a point where we can review performances to date and look at who’s struggling and who’s starring for each team. Here, we’re going to be focusing on the players who have led their teams, no matter how the club is doing in the grand scheme of things.
Here is the best player for each MLB team so far in 2018.
Arizona Diamondbacks — A.J. Pollock, OF
A couple of pitchers have a case here, but in a year where the Arizona offense has been surprisingly underwhelming, Pollock has carried them. The outfielder is hitting .293 with 11 home runs and 10 doubles, easily pacing the team in OPS. Unfortunately he is expected to miss 4-8 weeks with a thumb injury, because he was working on a potential MVP season before that.
The Toronto Blue Jays have already taken disciplinary action against Kevin Pillar, suspending the center fielder two games for his use of a homophobic slur during Wednesday’s game.
Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reports the news on the suspension.
Pillar used a gay slur towards an Atlanta Braves pitcher during the 7th inning after being upset over a tactic he felt contributed to his strike out. That sparked a bench-clearing incident.
Pillar issued an apology on Thursday for his actions, and the Blue Jays also sent a statement. With Toronto taking action against Pillar and showing no tolerance for his remark, MLB will likely feel there is no need for additional discipline.
Kevin Pillar sent out an apology via Twitter on Thursday for using a gay slur during Wednesday’s game against the Braves that incited the first of two bench-clearing incidents.
Pillar was upset with Atlanta pitcher Jason Motte for quick-pitching him, and yelled a gay slur at him after striking out. That led the benches to clear.
Word came out Thursday that MLB was investigating Pillar for his use of the word. The Blue Jays center fielder issued this statement Thursday.
Pillar was also apologetic after the game.
“It was immature, it was stupid, it was uncalled for,” he said of his actions.
The Jays also issued an apology Thursday.
The Jays are particularly sensitive to the issue after shortstop Yunel Escobar was disciplined for having a homophobic message on his eye black in 2012. Pillar could be facing similar discipline from the league.
Kevin Pillar has done it again.
The Toronto Blue Jays center fielder made a jaw-dropping catch on Monday night to rob Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez of a hit. Here’s a look at the spectacular play:
Making a diving catch coming in on a ball is impressive enough, but the difficulty of such a catch increases dramatically when you’re going back and have to lay out for it. Yet Pillar made the grab.
Jays starter Marcus Stroman was pretty shocked about the play:
That catch helped keep Stroman’s shutout intact and allowed him to leave the game up 4-0 against the Indians.
Pillar remains one of the best defensive outfielders in the game. On top of that, he’s also batting over .300 with some good pop this season as he entered Monday’s game with a .500 slugging percentage.
Kevin Pillar needed just two games to make his first awesome catch of the season.
The Blue Jays center fielder robbed Logan Morrison of extra bases with a diving catch in left center on Monday to preserve Toronto’s 5-2 lead over Tampa Bay in the 7th.
MLB.com says Pillar covered 92 feet of ground on the play and had a route efficiency of over 97 percent. That’s how you make a big play.