Last week I reported that Jameson Taillon was making his final start in extended Spring Training, then leaving for West Virginia on Friday. Taillon did, in fact, leave for West Virginia on Friday, and is currently with the team. This can be confirmed by Chuck McGill of the Charleston Daily Mail, who not only confirms that Taillon was with the team in Kannapolis, but that he is expected to make his debut soon.
West Virginia plays Hagerstown in a five game series this week, which sets up a matchup between Bryce Harper and Jameson Taillon, the number one and number two picks of the 2010 MLB draft. The big question is: when will the debut take place?
Taillon last pitched on Thursday, so we know his debut won’t happen today, since he would be going on four days rest. That means Tuesday is the earliest he would be able to start. Tyler Waldron is currently scheduled to start on Tuesday, and there are no listed starters after that. The Pirates wouldn’t comment on Taillon going to West Virginia, and they haven’t announced when he will debut, so it’s likely that we won’t find out until the day of his debut. So to speculate on when that debut could be, let’s take a look at the schedule, and what we know:
-The previous rotation was Cumpton, Dodson, Tyler Waldron, Colton Cain, and Zack Von Rosenberg.
-Brandon Cumpton was the scheduled starter for today, but has been removed for Zack Dodson, who was moved up a day. Dodson will be pitching on five days rest.
-Tyler Waldron is scheduled for tomorrow, and is also on five days rest.
-Colton Cain and Zack Von Rosenberg pitched in a double header on Saturday. Five days rest for each of them would be the 28th, which is Thursday.
-With Dodson and Waldron moving up a day, this leaves an opening for Wednesday, which would be six days rest for Taillon.
I do know that Taillon’s innings will be limited to start the season, and he will likely be in a piggyback role. On Thursday, I speculated that he could share time with Brandon Cumpton, who has struggled to start the 2011 season. With Cumpton being skipped today, that could be a possibility.
As of right now, if I had to guess, I’d say Taillon will be starting on Wednesday, and splitting time with Cumpton. There’s also the chance that he could start tomorrow, pushing Tyler Waldron back a day. In either event, I look for him to make his debut on Tuesday or Wednesday, most likely on Wednesday. Regardless of when he debuts, I will be in attendance, giving you a report from the game.
UPDATE 10:10 PM: Taillon will make his start on Wednesday, and I will be covering it. I’m considering staying in West Virginia on Wednesday night. It is supposed to rain on Wednesday, so this allows me to see Taillon if he pitches on Thursday, and if they do play Wednesday, it allows me to see Colton Cain on Thursday.