Pirates pitcher Jameson Taillon underwent a second Tommy John surgery last year. Under normal circumstances, he would have missed the entire 2020 season, but with the potential for the regular season to run late into the year, there was seemingly the possibility of a return. Taillon squashed that thought in a conference call with members of the media on Monday.
Per Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Taillon said, “I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about it. But [the Pirates have] shut me down pretty quickly.” In the event the season does run late into the year, that would mean that the offseason would be much shorter than usual, which the Pirates have identified as a problem. They understandably want to play it safe.
Taillon broke out in 2018, posting a 3.20 ERA with 179 strikeouts and 46 walks over 191 innings in 2018. He started only seven games last year before succumbing to injury, ending his season in early May.
The Pirates have Taillon under contract for two more years, his second and third years of arbitration eligibility. With the club not expected to be competitive this year anyway, it makes sense to play it conservatively. Taillon could rebuild his trade value in 2021 and/or 2022, offering the Pirates the chance to restock their minor league system.