Yankees: New rehab update should make fans feel better about Jameson Taillon

PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 08: Jameson Taillon #50 is doused with Powerade and bubble gum by Starling Marte #6 and Josh Bell #55 of the Pittsburgh Pirates after throwing a complete game shutout against the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park on April 8, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 08: Jameson Taillon #50 is doused with Powerade and bubble gum by Starling Marte #6 and Josh Bell #55 of the Pittsburgh Pirates after throwing a complete game shutout against the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park on April 8, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /
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Yankees fans should be excited about the latest update on Jameson Taillon’s “stuff”.

The Yankees’ addition of Jameson Taillon on Sunday, in exchange for four prospects (two current 40-man roster spot-holders), comes with a fair degree of risk.

Of course, said risk isn’t an accident — it’s the goal of New York’s offseason, stockpiling nine potential booms instead of putting all their eggs in one basket. After all, isn’t every pitching acquisition a risk, to some degree (I know, I know…)?

Taillon isn’t beginning a Tommy John rehab from scratch, though. He’s at the tail end of a long year-and-a-half away from the game, but isn’t just crawling back on the rubber in the new year, devoid of a plan.

The 29-year-old has been throwing for months, ripping it off the mound for several weeks. And reports indicate he hasn’t lost a lick of velocity, and has actually improved his spin rate.

Perhaps you can thank Taillon’s new motion, meant to protect against future injury risk by minimizing stress on his arm?

Two things can be true: it’s risky to rely on Taillon coming off the second Tommy John surgery of his ball-throwing career, but other teams were lauded for taking chances on Nathan Eovaldi (Rays and World Champion Red Sox) and Mike Clevinger, who just went under the knife for his second procedure. Also, everything we know about the New Taillon is quite promising, and we wouldn’t expect anything less from a cerebral pitching machine who buddied up beside Gerrit Cole for good reason.

Prior to 2019 with the Pirates, a rejuvenated Taillon was coming off his first truly dominant big league season (14-10, 3.20), and unveiled a slider, bumping it to the very front of his arsenal after a presentation to team staffers that manager Clint Hurdle called one of the best he’d ever seen.

And it got results immediately — a 61% swing rate, the highest in the game.

Plus, there’s an impressive addition from GM Ben Cherington, who claims Taillon actually was ready enough that he considered coming back at the end of last season, before ultimately deciding against it. Talk about advanced rehab.

Don’t take scouting reports dogmatically, though. Check out the new Taillon below, and decide for yourself how good he looks a month ahead of Spring Training.

Not a lot of moving parts there. Straight, and to the plate.

Taillon seems to be both a thinker and a pitcher who can further insure this roster as the team awaits Luis Severino’s return.