Pittsburgh Pirates’ top pitching prospect Jameson Taillon is currently sidelined with what he describes as “a little bit of elbow discomfort.”
“I’ve had an MRI and the ligaments are all good,” Taillon said. “There’s nothing there, which is really good news. I’m going to go get a second opinion, and we’ll go from there. The early word is just there’s a little inflammation and a bone there in my elbow. Nothing too, too serious.”
The right-hander said that he noticed some discomfort going on for a while, but that things changed after his last start on Wednesday.
“My velocity was up, and everything was really sharp,” Taillon said of his start on Wednesday. “I threw well. I was really pleased with it, and I woke up in the middle of the night and had pain that I had never felt before. I figured that was when I should say something is when it just felt completely out of the norm and I couldn’t fake throw anymore.”
He had an MRI after alerting the team. He will get a second opinion early this week, although nothing has been scheduled yet due to the weekend. The first MRI did reveal some good news about the ligament in his elbow.
“They kept saying how big and strong the ligament is, and how there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it,” Taillon said. “Obviously with pitchers catching [Tommy John] this week like the cold, that was good to hear. We’ll just treat it, and see what happens.”
Right now Taillon is rehabbing the elbow with ice and anti-inflammatory methods. He said he’s already starting to feel better. He will be shut down for two weeks, then will be re-evaluated. If he’s cleared to pitch, he will take a week or two to build up his innings before going to Indianapolis. In his start on Wednesday, Taillon threw four innings, including some extra pitches at the end of the fourth inning after getting through the outing too quick. He said he was 94-97 MPH, and felt his curve was sharp and his changeup was good.
“It stinks, because it was such a good outing and had me really, really excited to get going,” Taillon said. “But it’s just a little setback and we’ll figure it out.”
The setback means that Taillon won’t be pitching in Indianapolis on Opening Day. If he takes two weeks off from today, then needs two weeks to get built up for the rotation, that would put him in Indianapolis as early as the end of April or the start of May. Taillon was projected to arrive in the majors by mid-season. It’s hard to say whether this could change that projection, since the projection is based in part on his progression in Triple-A. Currently, Taillon has 37 innings at the level. Gerrit Cole had 74 innings in Triple-A before being called up to the majors.