“We’re hoping that Kevin can come in and provide a spark to our offense and play an above-average center field in a park that demands it,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “He’s an aggressive, hard-nosed player. He’s a leader. I know it’s used a lot, but he’s a gamer.”
Black sees Pillar hitting all over the batting order — from leadoff to the No. 8 spot — just as he did in Boston. More than anything, Black appreciates Pillar’s grit.
“It’s more about the player and the winning type of game he brings every day,” Black said. “He plays hard. He’ll dive. He’ll crash into walls. He’ll try to steal a base. He’ll break up two. His style is his style. For me, from the other side watching him over the years, it’s a winning type of player.”
Pillar was originally selected by Toronto in the 32nd round of the 2011 draft. He’s a career .261 hitter and has five seasons with double-digit steals, including 25 in 2015.
“We made a point to try to take bases. It’s just another way to put pressure on your opponents,” general manager Jeff Bridich said. “Mr. Pillar can fit right into that.
“I’ve thought of him as a gamer, a grinder, an energetic type of a guy that is going to find a way to do something really positive and will his way to help a team win.”
Boston’s payment to Colorado is due Sept. 15. The decision on a player to be named or $100,000 must be made by Feb. 28.
It’s the second straight day the Rockies orchestrated a trade as they remain in the postseason hunt. On Sunday, they added reliever Mychal Givens from the Baltimore Orioles for prospects and cash. Givens has allowed two runs over 13 innings this season for the Orioles. He has 19 strikeouts and two walks.
“Pretty stoked,” Givens said of joining Colorado. “They’re a really exciting team to watch.”
The Rockies added Givens to the active roster and optioned left-handed pitcher James Pazos to their alternate training site. They also placed infielder Brendan Rodgers on the 10-day injured list with a strained right shoulder and recalled right-hander Antonio Santos.
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