This past Sunday, Jameson Taillon recorded yet another lackluster start. He provided only five innings of work, and surrendered six runs on seven hits. Taillon’s recent outings have been brutal, featuring 20 runs in his past 20.2 innings of work, good for an 8.70 ERA.
This latest blunder has forced many to wonder if the Yankees should look for another arm before the trade deadline, and while there is no doubt that another pitcher could help this year’s Pinstripes, it would be foolish to argue that Taillon won’t be able to contribute in any capacity down the stretch. This is especially true given the type of team the Yankees have constructed and Taillon’s propensity to bounce back.
Taillon was never marketed as a No. 1 option for New York when he was traded. In fact, it was highly questionable whether or not he would be effective at all given his injury history. The numbers say that he doesn’t have “strikeout stuff,” but the righty also boasts an ability to limit walks. This could be and has been an asset. At the very least, Taillon throws strikes and does not allow “easy” baserunners. As fans saw on that very same frightful Fenway night, Aroldis Chapman was unable to consistently or effectively attack hitters. For this reason, Taillon may be a solid middle reliever at worst in the postseason, if things continue to go south.
With how good the 2022 Yankees have been, it’s very easy (and natural) to overreact when players do not continue hot streaks at the plate or on the hill. However, Jameson Taillon has proven to be a resilient player in the past. After a lackluster beginning to 2021, Taillon pieced together a brilliant July that landed him AL Pitcher of the Month honors. During that month, he punched in a 4-0 record, permitted only 20 hits, and tossed at least 5.0 innings of work without allowing more than two runs in any of his five starts.
No one is saying Taillon will be this dominant down the stretch, but he’s demonstrated a way of making adjustments in the past.
Additionally, postgame comments such as the video above make it clear that he’s willing to take accountability, a characteristic that should be valued and is paramount for any starting pitcher. In all likelihood, the Yankees will search for an additional arm, but Jameson Taillon could still be a key piece going forward, whether that be in the ‘pen or in the rotation.