The ailing New York Mets received much-needed reinforcements on Monday, activating three key players from the injury list, including Kevin Pillar, who is returning just two weeks after being hit in the face from a 94 mph fastball.
In addition to Pillar, the Mets activated first baseman Pete Alonso and right-handed setup man Seth Lugo. The Mets also remembered outfielder Mason Williams, who hit Syracuse .373 at Triple-A. Pillar was not in the starting XI for the Mets’ game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on Monday night. Alonso is said to be third, while Williams starts in midfield and hits eighth.
Pillar had been out since he was hit in the face on May 17 by Braves emergency worker Jacob Webb, who left him bloody with multiple nose fractures that required surgery.
Pillar told reporters on Monday that his goal was to get back to the starting XI on Wednesday. He said the bones in his nose won’t be fully healed in four to six weeks, so he will wear a mask when playing on the field or on the bases, but not when hitting. He said he will now wear a C-flap on his helmet to give him a sense of security when hitting.
Alonso, who leads the Mets with six homers and 19 RBIs, was placed on the IL with a sprained right hand on May 21, while Lugo has been paused for off-season elbow surgery.
The Mets have been besieged by injuries that season, with the number reaching up to 17 players in the IL at one point. Despite the injuries, the Mets (25-20 entering the games on Monday) are in first place in the National League East thanks to the contributions of several bench players who have made the starting XI.
Pillar was one of those bench players who made important contributions when he stepped in for injured midfielder Brandon Nimmo. Other Mets starting position players still on the injured list include right fielder Michael Conforto, second baseman Jeff McNeil, and third baseman J.D. Davis.
In corresponding trains on Monday, Mets emergency helpers chose Sean Reid-Foley, catcher Patrick Mazeika and outfielder Khalil Lee for Triple-A and designated outfielder Cameron Maybin and right-hander Sam McWilliams for the assignment.