Pillar nominated for Roberto Clemente Award

Tellez, Davis, Smith, Urena called up; Biagini to 10-day DL

September 4th, 2018

TORONTO -- Center fielder was named the Blue Jays' nominee for the 2018 Roberto Clemente Award on Tuesday afternoon. The Clemente Award is handed out annually in recognition of a player who best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.

Each club nominates one current player to be considered for the award in honor of Clemente's achievements and character. The league-wide winner of the Roberto Clemente Award, who will be announced during the 2018 World Series, will be selected among the group of nominees via a blue ribbon panel that includes individuals connected to the game.

Pillar was nominated for his work with the Jays Care Foundation, community outreach events such as Toronto's Winter Tour and Winter Fest, along with visits to local schools and hospitals. The native of California acts as the Challenger Program Player Ambassador for the Jays Care Foundation's Challenger Baseball, which is designed to enhance the experience of children living with cognitive and/or physical disabilities.

"I am very proud of the great philanthropic efforts of our players," MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said. "Through wide-ranging work and actions, these 30 nominees honor Roberto Clemente's legacy of being exemplary community ambassadors. Roberto's unwavering humanitarian spirit continues to inspire our players and fans and serves as a positive example for future generations."

Blue Jays make second wave of callups

The Blue Jays made their second -- and likely final -- wave of September callups on Tuesday afternoon by promoting four additional prospects from the Minor Leagues.

Toronto officially added first baseman , outfielder Jonathan Davis, outfielder and infielder from Triple-A Buffalo. Right-hander Michael Hauschild was designated for assignment to make room for Davis on the 40-man roster.

The Blue Jays now have 32 players on their active roster. That number is unlikely to change the rest of the way unless there are injuries that warrant additional moves. As expected, Toronto's top prospect per MLB Pipeline, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., was not added to the roster this September, but he will participate in the upcoming Arizona Fall League.

None of the latest callups are expected to see regular playing time this month. Tellez will get occasional starts at first base, while Smith and Davis will receive a couple of looks in the outfield. The same approach will be taken in the infield with Urena, but even though playing time will be sporadic, the Blue Jays see the value in exposing the younger players to more time in the big leagues.

"Just watch the games … and enjoy it," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons told local reporters Tuesday afternoon. "Don't overdo it. Just enjoy the experience, take advantage of it, watch and learn. They'll all go to some nice stadiums, they'll see all the primary places we play."

Davis is the top-ranked prospect among the recent callups. The 26-year-old is ranked Toronto's No. 21 prospect by MLB Pipeline, while Urena slots in at No. 22 and Tellez can be found at No. 29. Davis hit .249/.308/.389 with seven stolen bases in 46 games for the Bisons. Tellez bounced back from a disappointing 2017 season to hit .270 with a .765 OPS and 13 home runs in 112 games at Triple-A.

Biagini hits the DL

Right-hander was placed on the 10-day disabled list Tuesday afternoon with a strained left oblique. Right-hander Jake Petricka was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo to take Biagini's spot on the 25-man roster.

Biagini felt some discomfort during a relief appearance against the Marlins on Friday night. He tossed 20 pitches over a scoreless inning and was later diagnosed with the oblique issue. It's still not immediately clear whether Biagini will make it back before the end of the season.

Worth mentioning

The Blue Jays still aren't sure whether right-hander will be able to make his next start, or whether the product of Duke University will even be able to pitch again before the of the season. Stroman has been plagued in recent weeks by a blister on his right middle finger and it was a contributing factor to his recording just five outs in Monday's loss to Tampa Bay.

"We'll see how he is in a couple of days," Gibbons said.