Kevin Pillar testing a mask for defensive use, could return to Mets by end of next week


Kevin Pillar was at Citi Field on Sunday, standing in on bullpen sessions and playing catch, and Mets manager Luis Rojas is very pleased with the progress Pillar has made following surgery to repair fractures from being hit in the face with a pitch.

“He’s ahead from what we thought he would be – I actually played catch with him yesterday,” manager Luis Rojas said. “He’s been doing some baseball activity yhe last couple days; he ran sprints, and hit in the cage with tee and toss and live coach pitching. He wanted to try some pitching so that he won’t need a rehab assignment before being activated, and he looks and feels good.”

Pillar could be back in action by the end of next week, and if he is, he could be wearing a new accessory.

“He’s testing a mask as well, to see if he can play with one,” Rojas said. “I think the specialist recommended it, along with our performance staff. He’s tested it out in the field to see how he feels with his vision, so they’re doing different tests out there. I don’t know if he’ll wear it for hitting, but we’ll see if he ends up using it.”

Mask or not, Pillar is chomping at the bit to get back and help the team.

“You know how this guy is, he wants to be in the lineup every day, and he’s in a good place,” Rojas said. “He’s looked better and better each day, and he’s had a good attitude as he’s ramped up after the surgery.”

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