As first relayed by Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pirates top pitching prospect Jameson Taillon needs Tommy John reconstructive surgery on his right elbow. The procedure will be performed this week by Dr. David Altchek at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York and will sideline the talented 22-year-old right-hander through the spring of 2015.
Taillon posted a 3.73 ERA and 143 strikeouts in 147 1/3 innings last year between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis, and he was on track to reach the major league level early this season. He was ranked the No. 19 prospect in the game this winter by Baseball Prospectus.
We’ll say it again: Pittsburgh probably should have picked up some starting pitching this offseason.
There isn’t much depth behind No. 5 starter Edinson Volquez, who had a 9.64 ERA this spring.
After letting rumors of the deal percolate for the last week, the Athletics officially announced their two-year, $11 million contract with right-hander Santiago Casilla on Friday (and threw a little bit of shade at the Giants, too). As previously reported, the contract includes an extra $3 million in performance bonuses.
Casilla, 36, got his major league start with Oakland back in 2004, racking up a 5.11 ERA and four saves over six seasons in the A’s bullpen. After picking up a minor league deal with the Giants in 2010, the righty flitted in and out of the closing role with varying degrees of success. Notwithstanding a slight downturn in his production rate during the 2016 season, he earned 123 saves and a 2.42 ERA during the past seven years in San Francisco. Securing another closing role might be a little tougher across the Bay, however, with a bullpen that includes fellow closers Ryan Madson, Ryan Dull and Sean Doolittle.
Why is this man smiling? Man, I wouldn’t be smiling if I read what I just read.
This is the week when ESPN’s Keith Law releases his prospect and farm system rankings. He kicks off his content this week with a top-to-bottom ranking of all 30 farm systems. As a rule he limits his analysis to players who are currently in the minors and who have not yet exhausted their rookie of the year eligibility.
For the second straight year, Law ranks the Braves as the best system in baseball. Number two — making a big leap from last year’s number 13 ranking – is the New York Yankees. Dead last: the Arizona Diamondbacks, which Law says “Dave Stewart ritually disemboweled” over the past two years. That’s gotta hurt.
If you want to know the reasons and the rankings of everyone in between you’ll have to get an ESPN Insider subscription. Sorry, I know everyone hates to pay for content on the Internet, but Keith and others who do this kind of work put a lot of damn work into it and this is what pays their bills. I typically don’t like to pay for content myself, but I do pay for an ESPN Insider subscription. It’s worth it for Law’s work alone.