Kevin Pillar walked into the Mets’ clubhouse Tuesday, a day after getting hit in the face with a 94.5 mph fastball, and requested if he was within the lineup.
Alas, as he instructed his supervisor Luis Rojas, “If I could see a little better, I’d be fighting about me being in the lineup today.”
Pillar nonetheless landed on the 10-day injured record Tuesday with multiple nasal fractures, however the outfielder seems to have prevented the worst from Monday’s scary incident that left each groups shaken after the sport.
“I feel real good, actually. Despite not looking so good, I feel as close to normal as possible,” Pillar mentioned Tuesday from Atlanta. “The only tough thing is my right eye a little bit right now is suffering from a little bit of swelling and I can’t really breathe out of my nose, but besides that I feel good. I feel lucky and I’m just kind of excited to start this recovery and get back doing what I like doing.”
Pillar, who left Monday’s sport gushing blood and went to an area hospital to endure a CT scan, mentioned the fractures in his nostril and the swelling had been the extent of his accidents. He met with a plastic surgeon Tuesday to plan his restoration: as soon as the swelling goes down, he’ll endure surgical procedure to set his nostril again in place after which 10-14 days later, he might resume baseball actions.
The timeline figures to price Pillar not less than a month, however given how a lot worse the scenario might have been — a number of inches in every other route, he famous, might have been a distinct story — he reiterated how “lucky” he received. Not that it didn’t ache him to be lacking video games for the already injury-plagued Mets, as he grew to become their thirteenth participant presently on the IL.
“My face will heal, but my heart’s broken right now because this team is hurting right now,” Pillar mentioned. “I think at the end of my career, I hit .240, .250, whatever it is, I think if people talk about me as a guy that was reliable, was available and was tough as hell, that’s more than enough for me to ride off another sunset with.”
That sentiment was broadly echoed Tuesday. It didn’t shock Rojas or Braves supervisor Brian Snitker, who noticed Pillar come up by way of the minor leagues, that the outfielder joked about taking part in the day after the incident.
“It was such a scary moment that it’s unbelievable he’s here and walking around,” Rojas mentioned. “He’s a tough guy. I think the guys like that attitude around them.”
The Mets known as up infielder Wilfredo Tovar to take Pillar’s spot on the roster and likewise bolstered their outfield depth by buying and selling for veteran Cameron Maybin from the Cubs.
Jacob Webb, whose pitch hit Pillar, was visibly shaken on the mound Monday and nonetheless sounded prefer it Tuesday. He texted Pillar on Monday evening to test on him and ensure he knew there was no intent behind the pitch — “the ball kind of just got away from me,” Webb mentioned.
Upon returning to Truist Park on Tuesday, Pillar met with Webb and supplied him phrases of encouragement.
“I’m almost more worried about him than I am myself because I know I saw his reaction and I know how tough that can be on someone who feels responsible for someone getting injured,” Pillar mentioned.
But there have been nonetheless loads of individuals fearful about Pillar, most notably his spouse Amanda, who was watching reside from California on Monday evening. She contacted the Braves’ trainers — Pillar’s former trainers on the Blue Jays — earlier than Pillar lastly received a moment to name her and let her know he was OK.
“I think everyone — my family, my close friends, my inner circle — they know this is just a minor bump in the road,” Pillar mentioned. “I pride myself on being tough and available. I’ll be all right.”