Mets outfielder Kevin Pillar has been diagnosed with multiple nasal fractures after being struck in the face by a fastball from Braves right-hander Jacob Webb, per a club announcement. He’ll meet with a specialist to determine the next steps in his treatment.
It was a grisly scene in last night’s Mets/Braves game, for those who didn’t see. An errant fastball from Webb rode up and in on Pillar, striking him flush on the nose and dropping the veteran outfielder in a heap. Pillar was eventually able to walk off the field under his own power, and fans were surely relieved all the more when Pillar tweeted later in the evening: “Thanks to everyone that has reached out! Scary moment but I’m doing fine!”
At this point, there’s no clearly defined timeline for when Pillar might return. If (or when) Pillar is ultimately placed on the injured list, he’ll be added to a staggering number of outfielders on the IL for the Mets. Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo and Albert Almora Jr. are all on the 10-day IL at the moment, as are infielders/outfielders Jeff McNeil and J.D. Davis. Jose Martinez, meanwhile, is on the 60-day IL.
With that group sidelined, the Mets have Dominic Smith, Khalil Lee and Johneshwy Fargas on the big league roster, in addition to infield/outfield options Jose Peraza and Jake Hager. The Mets have some other outfield options in Triple-A, including former big leaguers Mallex Smith, Brandon Drury and Mason Williams (none are on the 40-man roster), but their depth is obviously being pushed to its limits.
It’s not at all a surprise to see MLB Network’s Jon Heyman tweet that the Mets are exploring outfield additions from outside the organization, but the trade market typically doesn’t get started this early in the season. There have at least been a few recent DFAs who could be claimed or acquired to simply add some depth; Pittsburgh designated Troy Stokes Jr. for assignment, while veteran Jon Jay was designated by the Angels over the weekend. Jay’s transactions log at MLB.com indicates that he cleared waivers, but he has the service time to reject an outright assignment in favor of free agency.