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Dodgers News: Injured Outfielder Plays First Game in 3 Months

Dodgers outfielder Kevin Pillar, out since June 1 with a fractured shoulder, started his rehab assignment on Monday and hopes to return to the majors this year.

When Dodgers outfielder Kevin Pillar injured himself on June 1, the diagnosis of a fractured shoulder came with bad news for the veteran: season-ending surgery.

As it turns out, though, Pillar's surgery didn't end his season. After months of recovery and rehab, Pillar went out on a rehab assignment on Monday with an eye on getting back to the big leagues this year.

Pillar tweeted the news himself on Monday evening:

It's not totally clear where the game took place, because Pillar talks about joining Triple-A Oklahoma City soon and OKC didn't play on Monday. So it presumably took place at Camelback Ranch in some capacity.

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Either way, Pillar has an uphill battle to get back to the majors this year and an even more uphill battle to make the postseason roster. Miguel Vargas has gotten very little playing time with L.A., so it seems likely that his shot at a postseason spot is very small, which theoretically could open the door for a different right-handed hitter to come in and take Hanser Alberto's playoff spot. But Pillar is solely an outfielder, and the Dodgers already have several of those. The positional flexibility of Chris Taylor and Mookie Betts makes it a possibility that they could carry Pillar, but he would have to really force the issue with his bat.

The most likely outcome is that Pillar finishes the year on his rehab assignment and we don't think much more about him. After missing over three months, he'd likely need a couple weeks of game action to be ready for the bigs anyway, and that's about all we have left this season.

But a healthy Pillar, along with Jason Martin, at the stay-hot camp in Arizona during the postseason would be valuable insurance in case of injury to one of their outfielders.

It's something to keep an eye on, even if it likely comes to nothing.