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 Giants announced on Tuesday the hiring of Gabe Kapler as manager. Kapler, filling the extremely large shoes of future Hall of Famer Bruce Bochy, inked a three-year deal, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. Kapler was one of three finalists for the job, beating out Astros bench coach Joe Espada and Rays bench coach Matt Quataro.
Following his 12-year playing career, Kapler was a coach for Israel’s team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic qualifier. He then became an analyst for FS1 before joining the Dodgers’ front office as the director of player development in November 2014. He was involved in three scandals there: one in which he tried to handle a sexual assault incident involving two Dodgers minor league players without telling police, one in which he allegedly discriminated against Nick Francona, a veteran and former baseball operations employee, and an incident that implicated most of the Dodgers’ front office concerning the recruiting of international free agents. The Dodgers reportedly kept a spreadsheet of employees and their level of criminality.
Despite Kapler’s background, the Phillies hired him as their manager ahead of the 2018 season. He would lead the Phillies to an 80-82 record that year and then helped them improve by one game in 2019, finishing at exactly .500 before being fired. Kapler’s tenure in Philly was tumultuous, often drawing ire from the local media and subsequently the fan base for not being tough enough on his players. The Phillies also reportedly had a clubhouse issue in 2018 in which players were playing video games in the clubhouse during games, prompting Carlos Santana to smash a TV with a bat.
Kapler has a history with Farhan Zaidi, the Giants’ president of baseball operations. They worked together in the Dodgers’ front office as Zaidi served as GM from November 2014-18.