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.
The Mariners acquired Yankees’ right-hander Nick Rumbelow in exchange for minor league righty Juan Then and left-hander JP Sears, per an official announcement on Saturday. Rumbelow made 17 appearances for the Yankees in 2015 before undergoing Tommy John surgery and could provide some bullpen depth for the Mariners in 2018.
The 26-year-old right-hander spent the majority of his 2017 season in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he delivered an 0.62 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 over 29 innings. The Yankees didn’t rush Rumbelow into a full workload after he missed the 2016 season recovering from Tommy John, but he didn’t appear to have any significant setbacks with his health or performance and should be ready to compete for a role next spring.
Sears, 21, was ranked 21st in the Mariners’ organization by MLB Pipeline. He was drafted in the 11th round of the 2017 draft and features a deceptive, low-velocity fastball that he can throw for strikes to either side of the plate. In his first year of pro ball, he split 17 games between Short-Season A Everett and Single-A Clinton, turning in an 0.65 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 16.6 SO/9 across two levels.
Then, 17, also completed his first year of pro ball after signing with the Mariners as a free agent. He went 2-2 in 13 games of rookie ball, pitching to a 2.64 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 in 61 1/3 innings. Neither Sears nor Then will take the mound for the Yankees anytime soon, and offloading Rumbelow to the Mariners should clear up some room on New York’s 40-man roster as they prepare for the upcoming Rule 5 Draft.