The Los Angeles Dodgers have been without Kevin Pillar since June 1 after he sustained a fractured left shoulder during the series finale against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Southern California native twice had his left shoulder pop out and back into place, with the second instance coming when he tried to make a head-first slide into third base.
Pillar underwent what was believed to be season-ending surgery at the time, but his shoulder has healed faster than expected. He was recently cleared to resume baseball activities and has already started a hitting program.
Pillar had always hoped to return this season but the surprise prognosis has made him even more motivated to get back on the field, via Jack Harris of the L.A. Times:
“It’s something I had continued to keep in my mind everyday I was rehabbing, that I was preparing myself to play baseball this year,” he said. “So now that I know it’s possible, I’m even more motivated, even more excited.”
Pillar understands the Dodgers roster has plenty of depth and there’s a chance he won’t rejoin the Major League team:
“It’s not being so focused on trying to get back here,” Pillar said. “It’s trying to get myself healthy, prove that I’m healthy, get some games under belt and put myself in position where … I’m available.”
If Pillar continues making progress in his recovery, it is possible he could begin a rehab assignment by Labor Day.
The 33-year-old signed a Minor League contract with the Dodgers during Spring Training and began the season with Triple-A Oklahoma City. He hit .315/.412/.622 with six doubles, three triples, nine home runs and 34 RBI over 36 games before getting called up.
Pillar went 1-for-12 in four games with the Dodgers prior to suffering the shoulder injury.
Pillar values being with Dodgers organization
Along with getting an opportunity to play for his hometown team, the 33-year-old was excited to have joined the Dodgers organization because of their proven track record in aiding career turnarounds or extending them.
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