CHARLESTON, WV - Jameson Taillon made 23 starts during his pro debut season in West Virginia in 2011. Out of those 23 starts, only seven were for five innings, and none longer. Taillon was mostly limited to four inning appearances, with the Pirates exercising caution with their top prospect.

When I was in West Virginia last week, I saw two pitchers going into the seventh inning. Eduardo Vera -- in his first full season back from Tommy John -- went seven full innings. Luis Escobar went 6.2 innings, but ran into control problems which prevented him from escaping the inning.

It's a massive contrast from how the Pirates used to handle pitchers in the lower levels. And it's not just West Virginia.

In the GCL, Leandro Pina is making his jump to the US. He went six innings on July 22nd, ...

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