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Kevin Pillar walked into the Mets’ clubhouse Tuesday, a day after getting hit in the face with a 94.5 mph fastball, and asked if he was in the lineup.
Alas, as he told his manager Luis Rojas, and shared a similar sentiment with Braves manager Brian Snitker, “If I could see a little better, I’d be fighting about me being in the lineup today.”
Pillar still landed on the 10-day injured list Tuesday with multiple facial fractures, the Mets said, but the outfielder appears to have avoided the worst from Monday’s scary incident that left both teams shaken after the game.
“It was such a scary moment that it’s unbelievable he’s here and walking around and that I saw him earlier today,” Rojas said before the Mets continued their series in Atlanta.
Pillar, who spent Monday night at a local hospital getting a CT scan, had a swollen face Tuesday, according to Rojas. He met with a facial specialist in Atlanta to determine his next steps before arriving back at Truist Park.
“He’s a tough guy,” Rojas said. “I think the guys like that attitude around them. It’s been nice just to have this guy here in our clubhouse.”
Pillar became the 13th Met currently on the IL, with infielder Wilfredo Tovar called up from Triple-A Syracuse to take his spot. Rookies Johneshwy Fargas and Khalil Lee are starting in the outfield Tuesday alongside Dominic Smith and Rojas mentioned infielders Jonathan Villar, Jose Peraza and Jake Hager as other options to play outfield.
The Mets also bolstered their outfield depth Tuesday by trading for veteran Cameron Maybin from the Cubs for cash considerations and assigning him to Syracuse.
Rojas did not put a timeline on Pillar’s potential return, but when asked about it potentially being in the four-to-six week range, he said he hoped it could be sooner.
“But first of all you want it to be completely healed off of this,” Rojas said.
Pillar’s teammate Marcus Stroman, who was also with him on the Blue Jays, had a suggestion for his return.
“My dawg [Pillar] just walked in the clubhouse and goes ‘Am I in the lineup today or what?’” Stroman tweeted. “What a WARRIOR. About to get my man the Rip Hamilton face mask for future competition. Lol KP is a LEGEND!”
Meanwhile, both Snitker and Braves reliever Jacob Webb, whose pitch hit Pillar, texted the Mets outfielder to tell him they were thinking of him and both got responses.
“Actually he said, ‘If I could see out of my right eye, I’d be in there today,’” Snitker said. “Just being on the other side knowing the kid, that doesn’t surprise me that he texted me that.”
“Glad he’s doing alright and hoping for a speedy recovery for him,” a shaken Webb said. “Definitely no intent there. Not trying to hit him, but ball kind of just got away from me.”
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