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#pounditFriday, January 27, 2023

Dodgers could get unexpected piece back in time for playoffs?

Dave Roberts in a Dodgers hat

Oct 7, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Robert’s (right) watches batting practice prior to game four of the 2019 NLDS playoff baseball series against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers just had a fairly (and unusually) quiet trade deadline, but they may still be getting a boost for the stretch run regardless.

Injured Dodgers outfielder Kevin Pillar told reporters this week that he is surprisingly ahead of schedule in his recovery from a left shoulder fracture and could return by the end of the regular season.

“Definitely exciting news,” said Pillar, per Jack Harris of the LA Times. “I would definitely call it best case scenario.”

The 32-year-old added that he has been cleared to resume baseball activities and could possibly start playing in minor-league games by Labor Day. Pillar also recently tweeted a video of himself taking swings in the batting cage.

Pillar signed a one-year deal with the Dodgers last offseason but made just 13 plate appearances for the team before getting injured in early June. The team has done just fine in his absence, posting an MLB-best 76-33 record with Cody Bellinger, Trayce Thompson, and sometimes Gavin Lux playing where Pillar usually does. The Dodgers have gotten Chris Taylor back from injury as well and traded for another outfield option in Joey Gallo.

Still, Pillar could make an impact come postseason time as a defensive replacement or as a platoon piece against lefties. That is a great luxury for the Dodgers to have, especially with some other leaks emerging elsewhere on the roster.

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