Kevin Pillar’s surgery in June to repair a fracture in his left shoulder was presumed to be season-ending. But the Dodgers outfielder said Saturday that wasn’t the case.
Pillar was a guest with David Vassegh on Dodger Talk on AM 570, and said he’s been cleared by doctors to resume baseball activities. That doesn’t necessarily mean Pillar will play again in the majors this season, but with minor league schedules running through the last week of September, he’ll at least have several chances to get ready.
“Just trying to put myself in the conversation for down the road,” Pillar told Vassegh. “Things happen in baseball, guys get hurt. You never want to see that happen. I’m just going to put myself in a position where I’m healthy, and I become an option if healthy.”
The 33-year-old veteran Pillar signed a minor league contract in March with the Dodgers, signing with his hometown team, growing up and playing high school baseball at Chaminade in West Hills, then at college at Cal State Dominguez Hills. He was among the final roster cuts of spring training, beginning his 2022 campaign in Triple-A Oklahoma City.
The Dodgers called Pillar up on May 28, but he only played four games before hurting his shoulder. He was placed on the injured list on June 2, and transferred to the 60-day IL one day later.
“Not sure the exact time table but like always I plan to be back as quickly as possible,” Pillar said in an Instagram post on June 7, after his shoulder surgery.
- Padres pitcher Nick Martinez went to Fordham, the same school as Vin Scully. He reminisced with AJ Cassavell at MLB.com about how, seven years ago, when Martinez was with the Rangers, Scully reached out to him for a meeting. “That was a really, really cool interaction,” Martinez told Cassavell. “We played the Dodgers, and without really saying anything we both knew that we wanted to meet. There’s not many Fordham people in the big leagues.”
- From the on-site report of CNN’s Paul Vercammen on Friday at Dodger Stadium, Charley Steiner said, “Vin Scully was above and beyond the greatest baseball broadcaster who ever lived. He may have been the best sports announcer who ever lived. ... I knew he was going to pass away, and it came at no surprise, but still you get the call, and it’s a gut punch.”
- NPR’s Scott Simon on Scully: “When he died this week at the age of 94, I didn’t think so much of the no-hitters and game-winners he narrated, but of what it must have been like for anyone in LA to be stuck in traffic on the I-5 in the late afternoon, wishing they were anywhere else, then fumble through the radio dial, and have the voice of Vin Scully take you away to a game.”
- The Conversation recounted how Scully was hired to the Dodgers to work with Red Barber, and included this anecdote from Scully after Barber’s death in 1992: “After absorbing the sad news, he began hearing his old mentor chiding him: ‘Now don’t you talk about me during the game. These people aren’t tuning in to hear about me. Talk about the game.’”
- Scott Miller at the New York Times wrote about MLB’s embrace of PitchCom, the device used to relay signs electronically from catcher to pitcher, and the reaction to it. Carlos Correa, now with the Twins, says his 2017 Astros likely wouldn’t have been able to implement their banging scheme “because there are no signs now.” Max Scherzer says PitchCom works, “but I also think it should be illegal.”
- Sunday was the 50th anniversary of Josh Gibson and Buck Leonard getting inducted into the Hall of Fame, the first exclusively Negro Leagues players to be elected to Cooperstown. Frederic Frommer at the Washington Post looks back.
- From a few days earlier, Bill Shaikin at the Los Angeles Times reported on the attorney for actor Danny Masterson asking for a delay of his rape trial so she could focus on Trevor Bauer’s appeal with MLB. That attorney, Shawn Holley, represents both Bauer and Masterson. The Dodgers-relevant tidbit from the story from Shaikin was, “The appeal of Bauer’s suspension started May 23 and now is expected to last until November, Holley told the court.”