It’s been nearly five weeks since Pirates’ right-hander Jameson Taillon underwent surgery for testicular cancer. While the news came as a shock to both Taillon and the Pirates’ organization, the 25-year-old righty appears to have made a full and rapid recovery after several weeks of treatment and rehab outings. The club activated him from the disabled list on Saturday and is expected to play him when the Rockies come to town for a three-game set on Monday.
Taillon is in his sophomore season with the Pirates and tossed 35 1/3 innings with a 3.31 ERA, 3.3 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 before hitting the disabled list. He was treated for suspected testicular cancer in early May, a diagnosis that was confirmed when his pathology report came back positive for cancer the following week. Over the last month, he was cleared to resume baseball activities and has pitched through 14 innings with 13 hits, six runs and 21 strikeouts over three rehab starts in Triple-A Indianapolis and Double-A Altoona.
Prior to the Pirates’ matinee on Saturday, Taillon spoke to the media about his upcoming start, telling reporters, “I really want to be a pitcher again. [I] just want to be a guy on the team, making starts and doing my job.” His full comments are below:
Fellow right-hander Tyler Glasnow has been optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis to clear roster space for Taillon. Glasnow went 1-5 in Taillon’s absence, pitching to an 8.56 ERA with 42 hits, 29 runs and 22 strikeouts in six starts.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported on Sunday that the Brewers claimed catcher Stephen Vogt off waivers from the Athletics. Vogt was designated for assignment by the Athletics on Thursday.
Vogt, 32, was an All-Star in each of the last two seasons, but struggled this year. He hit .217/.287/.357 with four home runs and 20 RBI in 174 plate appearances.
With the Brewers, Vogt will likely split time behind the plate with Manny Pina. Meanwhlie, the Athletics’ catching situation will be handled by Josh Phegley and Bruce Maxwell.
Astros’ left-hander Dallas Keuchel might not return to the rotation before the All-Star break, Houston manager A.J. Hinch told reporters prior to Sunday’s game. The club placed their star southpaw on the 10-day disabled list on June 8, retroactive to June 5, after a nerve issue was revealed in his neck.
Keuchel has taken a conservative approach to his recovery over the last several weeks, and while he appears to have made some progress, still has yet to throw off the mound. The injury interrupted the start of an outstanding run with the Astros, during which the 29-year-old lefty furnished a 9-0 record with a 1.67 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 through his first 75 2/3 innings of 2017.
According to Hinch, it’s certainly possible that Keuchel could return to the team sometime within the next two weeks, but it’s clear that the team would prefer to play it extra safe with their ace. Even assuming that he feels ready to reclaim his spot on the Astros’ pitching staff, he still needs to complete a few key activities before competing in another game — like throwing off a mound, for example. In the meantime, Lance McCullers Jr. will continue to head Houston’s rotation as they try to build on their 12.5-game lead in the AL West.
Hinch’s full comments are below: