Takeaways from Mets' Kevin Pillar news conference: 'My face will heal, but my heart's broken right now'

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·5 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Mets Kevin Pillar walks off with the trainer
Mets Kevin Pillar walks off with the trainer

Mets OF Kevin Pillar suffered "multiple nasal fractures" on Monday night against the Braves after getting hit in the face with a 95 mph fastball in the seventh inning.

The team announced that was placed on the 10-day IL on Tuesday and will meet with a facial specialist in Atlanta to determine next steps. Pillar spoke to reporters before the Mets game against the Braves on Tuesday night.

How he feels right now

"Feel good, I feel real good actually. Despite not looking so good, I feel as close to normal as possible. The only tough thing is my right eye a little bit right now, suffering from a little bit a swelling, and I can't really breathe out of my nose, but besides that I feel good. I feel lucky, and just kinda excited to start this recovery and get back doing what I like doing."

Immediate reaction

"I pride myself on being available, so I think my immediate reaction was sadness. That I don't know what the extent of what just happened was, and I know that I'm leaving a game and I know we've already been shorthanded with injuries. It was frustrating. My initial reaction was to get up and go to first base, and as I was on the ground I was bleeding a lot. I knew that this wasn't normal, that this was more than just getting hit in the face, there's a lot of blood, and that there's no way to get to first base.

"Came back in the clubhouse and kind of had a moment to assess what happened. I saw the doctor, without any X-rays or anything he told me that your nose is deformed and more than likely broken. I had to take a moment to myself to collect myself. I was sad. It wasn't so much about the pain, it was about the fact that this team's gone through a lot, and like I said I pride myself on being available. I don't always enjoy the results of going out there every single day, but I do enjoy the challenge of being available every day and I enjoy playing. That's the thing that hurts the most.

"My face will heal, but my heart's broken right now. This team's hurting right now. I came here and didn't really know what my role was going to be, and was gifted an opportunity to play everyday, and I don't take that lightly. It hurts."

Talking to Braves' Jacob Webb

"I know in this scenario this guy didn't want to hit me, I know he didn't want to hit me in the face, the bases were loaded and it was a 1-0 game. Accidents do happen, so in that regard I know he feels bad. I know me and him talked, last night, today. I'm almost more worried about him than I am myself. Because I know I saw his reaction, and I know how tough that can be on someone who feels responsible for someone getting injured. I just tried to relay that message to him, that I know it was unintentional and he needs to continue to be confident and believe in himself and his stuff and I'll be fine."

Family's reaction

"I think it was a scary time, I think, for my wife. They're back in California at her parents' house on this long road trip. She saw it live. Luckily it was kind of during their dinner time, my daughter didn't see it, she didn't get an opportunity to see it. My son is a little too young to understand what's going on. My wife was scared. Obviously new team, she didn't necessarily have a point of contact right away.

"Fortunately for her, the trainers on the other side were trainer I had in Toronto for a long time. She was smart enough to reach out to them. Once I saw the doctor in here and got some of the bleeding to stop, and got a moment to myself, I called her and let her know I'm alright. She just felt helpless, she feels bad I'm here by myself. But I'm fine."

How he wants to be remembered

"Like I said, biggest thing for me, I've played through injuries in my career, being available was the most important thing for me. The statistical stuff became very secondary in my career. I think even the support I've gotten from my teammates here, and people reaching out saying that's tough. I've never seen anything like that is what I've always wanted to be known for and wanted to be remembered for. Not necessarily the numbers on the scoreboard.

"At the end of my career I've hit .240, .230, .250 whatever it is. I think when people talk about me as a guy that was reliable and available and was tough as hell. That's more than enough for me to ride off in the sunset with."

Next steps

"So, I met with a specialist today, a plastic surgeon here in Atlanta. He read my CT scan and X-rays and stuff. I have several breaks to my nose that need to be put back in place. That'll take place once the swelling reduces in my face. And that'' probably be done by a doctor in New York.

"Think the initial plan is for me when we get home, see the doctor on Monday in New York. Talk about when that surgery could be done. I think they said 10-14 days after that I'll be able to resume baseball activity. My plan is to be back as soon as possible. I'm gonna do my best to get with our high performance staff and our training staff and figure out over the next handful of days, what I can do, what I can't do to keep my body fresh, and my mind fresh. And try to stay in the best baseball shape I can stay in, and really try to get bask as soon as possible."