Jameson Taillon will undergo hernia surgery this week, which will put him out of competition for about two months. When the news came out earlier this week, my reaction was that this didn’t speak well to his chances to pitch in Pittsburgh this year. Two months from now puts him into September, and he’d still need time to get stretched out. Despite this timeline, the Pirates aren’t closing the book on him yet.
“We’ve been told it’s roughly two months until he’s ready to compete,” Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington said. “As a starting pitcher, there is an innings buildup that goes along with that. I understand everyone wants to go black and white and script it out, but it’s a gray area. We’ll see exactly where he is when he comes out of the surgery and where his body is. It should be roughly two months from competition.”
Prior to the recent injury, Taillon was recovering from Tommy John surgery. He got up to five innings and around 75 pitches, but suffered the abdominal injury after his five inning outing. There was a chance that he could pitch in Pittsburgh during the final two months, with a chance to arrive in Indianapolis by now. That was before the injury came up. His timeline now will depend on how his body recovers from the injury.
“The prognosis is it could be a little bit earlier or a little bit later depending on how his body recovers,” Huntington said. “In Jameson’s case, he’s going to do everything in his power to make it be as quick and efficient as possible. We’ll see how his body cooperates, and we’ll go from there. If it’s shorter, obviously we have a longer period of time. If it’s longer, we’ll adjust accordingly and put him on the path to becoming a the big league pitcher we still believe he will become.”
Huntington didn’t have a clear answer when asked if Taillon could be a September call up this year. In theory, the Pirates could bring him back in two months and skip him over Triple-A, right to the majors. But if that’s the plan, Huntington isn’t letting it be known.
“Of course, we will always leave the door open, but I don’t want it to become a story that we are looking for him in September,” Huntington said. “Our most important thing is getting him through the surgery, letting him rest, and letting him recover. We are fully anticipate him pitching up here for a long time; we just don’t know when that will be.”
In short, we’ll see how Taillon is recovering two months from now before finding out whether he can pitch in the majors this year.
Sadler Not Throwing Yet
In other related news, Casey Sadler has been out with a right forearm strain, which he has been dealing with since Spring Training. He hasn’t returned to throwing yet, according to Huntington.
“Casey is making progress,” Huntington said. “We’re going to wait until we are symptom free to get him throwing again. Sometimes that is sooner than later, and our hope is this time it will be sooner.”