Yankees: Jameson Taillon battling through control issues is a promising sign
New York Yankees fans knew it wouldn’t be a walk in the park with this restructured starting rotation that features a number of question marks.
Though we love Jameson Taillon’s upside, there were a lot of concerns about his health and overall body of work upon the team acquiring him in a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
So far this spring, he’s done his absolute best to quell any concerns. He hasn’t pitched since 2019, but he’s yet to give up a run in 5.2 innings, during which he’s allowed four hits and four walks while striking out nine. Sure, he’s gotten into some jams, but more impressively, he’s slid out of them.
For a guy who’s hardly been battled tested across the last two years (you know the story, he hasn’t even eclipsed 40 innings over that span), the resiliency he’s shown over the last couple of weeks has been encouraging.
He working on getting his velocity back, too, but managed to fan multiple batters on Friday with his high heater. And despite control issues for the second straight outing, he managed to escape unscathed.
He only threw 55% of his pitches for strikes, which shows in his three walks. He was a bit wild in his last multi-inning outing (which was his first of the spring that followed his one inning debut), but he got out of a bases-loaded jam in that one.
On Friday, he got out of another bases-loaded jam with some help after first baseman Jay Bruce made an error to extend the inning. Taillon struck out Niko Goodrum for the second out of the inning and then the Yankees went to the bullpen for Addison Russ to get the final out since the right-hander’s pitch count was getting up there.
Russ got Wilson Ramos to ground out to end the inning.
It’s not easy undergoing a second Tommy John surgery shortly after a battle with cancer only to jump right back into things with a brand new team while attempting to burnish a four-pitch mix (fastball, slider, curveball, changeup). But Taillon is taking it all in stride, learning along the way, and slowly proving that he could be that stable mid-rotation guy or No. 2 starter the Yankees desperately need. There’s a long road ahead, but he’s passing his first tests.
Rational Yankees fans knew Taillon wouldn’t be blowing by hitters and looking pristine out of the gate, but this is perhaps just as outstanding because he continues to bend but not break after nearly two years away from the mound.