Jameson Taillon, RHP for the Pirates, will be making his major league debut tomorrow, June 8th, the team announced. The second overall pick in the 2010 MLB draft, Jameson has excelled in 10 starts in Triple-A in 2016, going 4-2 with a 2.04 ERA and allowing a paltry .196 batting average against to opposing hitters.
Taillon's addition couldn't come at a better time
The Pirates have endured a slew of injuries as of late, including RHP Ryan Vogelsong's trip to the 60-day DL in late May. Vogelsong suffered an injury to his left eye and fracture to his orbital bone after taking a pitch to the face against the Rockies.
Third baseman David Freese has missed several games and is day-to-day after a right thumb injury and the bumps and bruises to Andrew McCutchen and Francisco Cervelli have cost both of them some time in the starting lineup, as well. With a number of key injuries, one might argue that the Pirates' dugout resembles more of a triage unit than a major league roster.
What will Taillon bring to the Pirates?
So what will adding Taillon to the accident prone lineup do for the Pirates? He may just be the spark the Pirates need to bounce back from the barrage of injuries.
Taillon was one of the most buzzed about prospects of 2010, going from a high school squad to a major league uniform. Yet, after suffering back-to-back injuries and undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2014, his hype was reduced to a hum of unfulfilled, premature expectations. Sandwiched between the number one pick, Bryce Harper, and the number three pick, Manny Machado, Taillon was set to be the new, young face of the Pirates franchise.
However, while his peers shook up the major leagues, the only thing Taillon rattled was the command over his pitches. After bouncing between the minor leagues and surgery room tables, it appeared that the Pirates' best prospect wasn't going to be the key player he was set to be.
That is, until Taillon began the 2016 season with a dirty curveball and a hunger for the major league mound. In addition to better control over his pitches, Taillon walked only six batters and struck out 61 in his time with Triple-A Indianapolis this season.
Right now, the Pirates pitching staff feels anemic; Jeff Locke is sporting a turbulent 4.28 ERA and Francisco Liriano hasn’t had a quality start since May 6th. With the addition of Taillon to the starting rotation, Juan Nicaso will be bumped to the bullpen. Taillon’s resilience and young blood is just what the Pirates need to pump life back into a beleaguered rotation.