And with Corey Kluber being the other marquee addition to the rotation — another guy who has dealt with injuries that kept him off the field for most of 2019 and 2020 — it was hard to get super excited about the direction of the starting rotation.
What’s held back the Yankees for the past. four years? Injuries and a lack of depth among their starting pitchers. This time around, they added depth, but with injury concerns.
Fans will still be waiting with bated breath for the entirety of the season to see this through since the Yankees have been burned by injuries at the beginning, middle and end of the last four years, but right now, we have to say we’re excited, especially with the Taillon trade.
Why? The right-hander took the mound for the second time this spring on Saturday and managed to impress yet again. It wasn’t the prettiest of outings, but there was an entirely different reason for encouragement.
Taillon battled out of a big jam in the second inning and showed resilience.
After a 1-2-3 first, Taillon gave up back-to-back singles to start the top half of the next frame. He responded by inducing a pop up and getting a strikeout, but then issued a walk to load the bases. He’d only be going two innings on the day, so he had to make the next batter he faced really count.
And he did. He struck out Kevin Kramer to end the inning.
That’s now three scoreless innings for Taillon this spring. He’s yet to give up a run and has allowed just two hits and a walk while striking out five. There’s still a tremendously long road ahead, but this is just about the best start to a new chapter after pitching in only 37.1 innings since the start of 2019. It looks like he’s made changes to his delivery and he’s gradually gaining the velocity back on his fastball.
And his former (and current!) teammate Gerrit Cole hitting us with those comments on Saturday morning after his live batting practice session? Even more of a reason to feel positive about the offseason trade.
Yankees fans can only hope they get a new and improved version of Taillon as he looks to have his first fully healthy season since 2018.