8/17/2013 8:35 P.M. ET
Slow start not dampening Pillar's enthusiasm
By Jim Hawkins / Special to MLB.com
ST. PETERSBURG -- With three Major League games under his belt, Blue Jays rookie outfielder Kevin Pillar was 0-for-10. And having the time of his life.
"Everyone says being in the big leagues is the greatest thing in the world," Pillar said before Saturday's game against the Rays. "And they're right."
In spite of his .000 batting average.
"I'm still confident in my ability; I'm not going to cry over 10 at-bats," said the 24-year-old Pillar, who was promoted to the Major Leagues last week and rated by MLB.com as the organization's No. 16 prospect. "I'm sitting here 0-for-10, but I don't feel like I'm overmatched."
Pillar was not in the lineup Saturday night as Rajai Davis started in left field. So Pillar spent extra time during batting practice talking to Blue Jays hitting coach Chad Mottola.
"I went 0-for-10 in the Minor Leagues lots of times," Pillar said. "Unfortunately, these are my first 10 at-bats in the big leagues. I was talking to some friends back in Buffalo after Friday night's game. They were waiting to climb on the bus for an eight-hour ride to Pawtucket, and I was sitting here in a Major League clubhouse."
Pillar has made "a couple nice plays defensively," said Toronto manager John Gibbons, who described the rookie as a solid ballplayer who was capable of playing all three outfield positions.
Pillar's parents are flying to New York next week to see him play. "It doesn't get much better than that," he said.
A base hit or two would be icing on the cake.
Reyes likely to rest until Yankees series
ST. PETERSBURG -- The lingering discomfort in Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes' left ankle has moved to his right knee. He was removed from the lineup and told by manager John Gibbons to take it easy until at least Tuesday, when the Blue Jays play a doubleheader against the Yankees in New York.
"I think I put a little extra pressure on my good leg, trying to protect my ankle," Reyes said Saturday before missing his first game since he came off the disabled list June 26.
"I hope I'll be in the lineup on Tuesday," added Reyes, who missed much of the first half of the season after he sustained a severe ankle sprain sliding into second base April 12.
The speedy 30-year-old switch-hitter, who was acquired in an off-season trade with the Miami Marlins, said the knee had "been bothering me for two weeks, and the last couple of days it got worse. I never had any problem with my knee before. I don't want it to get worse."
In Reyes' 46 games since coming off the disabled list, he batted .270. He is hitting .291 for the year.
"I told the trainer [Friday night], and the doctor checked me out after the game," Reyes said. "There's a little bit of swelling there."
"I'm going to stay away from him and give him three days off," Gibbons said. The Blue Jays have an off-day Monday.
"It's hard for me to take any day off," Reyes said. "Even today, I came to the park with the idea I was going to be playing."
Maicer Izturis replaced Reyes at shortstop Saturday night.
• Gibbons said Saturday that pitcher Josh Johnson, on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right forearm, will most likely remain in Florida when the Blue Jays fly to New York to play the Yankees on Sunday night.
Gibbons said the result of Johnson's MRI exam were being sent to Dr. James Andrews, who performed Tommy John surgery on Johnson in August 2007.
Asked if he had any idea when Johnson (2-8, 6.20 ERA) might return to the Blue Jays' starting rotation, Gibbons said: "It's going to be a while."
• Anthony Gose, who went 1-for-4 and drove in two runs in Friday night's 5-4 loss to the Rays, his first big league game since June 5 after a stint at Triple-A Buffalo, started in center field again Saturday night.
"Gose has that edge about him," Gibbons said. "He competes. That's all you want anybody to do: Go out there and compete. Have that good intensity. He's got that.
"He's a young kid. No telling how good he can become, because you're not going to find a better center fielder out there."
• Shortstop Munenori Kawasaki's wife gave birth to a baby boy on Friday. Kawasaki will rejoin the Jays in New York in time for Tuesday's doubleheader. "Let him enjoy that baby and take care of his wife," said Gibbons, who did not yet know that name of the newborn.
• Gibbons appeared surprised to learn that some reporters thought he was more upset than usual after Friday night's 5-4 walk-off loss to Tampa Bay.
"A loss is a loss," Gibbons said. "And we've had too many of 'em."
Jim Hawkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.