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Pillar activated from DL sooner than expected

MLB.com

SEATTLE -- Kevin Pillar earned the nickname Superman, thanks to his penchant for all-out plays in the outfield, where he makes diving and leaping catches seem almost routine.

The nickname has a new meaning, given how quickly Pillar returned to the field after an SC joint sprain.

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SEATTLE -- Kevin Pillar earned the nickname Superman, thanks to his penchant for all-out plays in the outfield, where he makes diving and leaping catches seem almost routine.

The nickname has a new meaning, given how quickly Pillar returned to the field after an SC joint sprain.

View Full Game Coverage

"I don't know what to say, my body just had a plan of its own," Pillar said. "I don't know how or why. Maybe I got good genetics, maybe I got good parents, maybe I really am Superman."

Pillar returned to the Blue Jays active roster Friday, playing center field and batting ninth. He last played on July 14, and was expected to miss four to six weeks with the clavicle and neck issue.

"The day after, I felt like I was in a car accident," Pillar said. "I was in pretty bad shape."

But Pillar's rehab process went more quickly than he expected, even after an MRI revealed muscular issues in his neck. The medical staff cleared him to fight through some discomfort in order to resume baseball actives.

Manager John Gibbons said he didn't think it made sense to send Pillar all the way across the country for a rehab start, but said he looked good taking batting practice over the past few days. Pillar also took live batting practice Thursday in order to see some velocity.

"It's not ideal, but we could use him," Gibbons said. "Get the right-handed bat in there. Plus, he's a great defender and we've had some issues in the outfield. It makes us that much stronger to get him back in there."

Pillar intends on keeping his Superman mentality.

"I'm going to throw my body on the line when the situation presents itself," Pillar said. "As I sit here now, I don't feel like I have any limitations. I don't have any hesitations. I'm not scared."

In a corresponding move, reliever Brandon Cumpton was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo. He made just one appearance for Toronto, throwing 1 2/3 innings and giving up a run Tuesday.

David Gottlieb is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle. Follow him on Twitter @DGottliebMLB.

Toronto Blue Jays, Brandon Cumpton, Kevin Pillar