Jameson Taillon won’t pitch this year

Jameson Taillon
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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.

Kinsler back with Rangers as special assistant to GM Young

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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ARLINGTON, Texas — Former Texas Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler returned to the team as a special assistant to general manager Chris Young, his teammate in the organization’s minor league system nearly two decades ago.

Young said that Kinsler, who was part of the franchise’s only two World Series teams in 2010 and 2011, will be heavily involved in player development and providing mentorship to both players and staff.

Kinsler, a four-time All-Star, was part of a World Series championship with the Boston Red Sox in 2018, a year before his retirement. Kinsler played 14 seasons in the major leagues and spent the last three years in the front office of the San Diego Padres as a special assistant in baseball operations and player development. The 40-year-old has been living in the Dallas area, as he did throughout his playing career.

Kinsler played for the U.S. in the 2017 World Baseball Classic and Israel in last summer’s Olympics, and he will manage Israel in next month’s WBC.

Young and Kinsler were teammates for several weeks at Double-A Frisco in the summer of 2004, the same year the pitcher made his big league debut. They were in big league spring training together in 2005, then Young was traded after that season.

A 17th-round draft pick by Texas in 2003, Kinsler played 1,066 games for the Rangers from 2006-13, hitting .273 with 156 homers, 539 RBIs and 172 stolen bases. He hit .311 with a .422 on-base percentage in 34 postseason games. He was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame last summer.

Kinsler hit .269 with 257 homers, 909 RBIs and 243 stolen bases in 1,888 career games overall with Texas, Detroit (2014-17), the Los Angeles Angels (2018), Boston (2018), and San Diego (2019). He is one of only two MLB second baseman with 30 homers and 30 stolen bases in multiple seasons, and had the only six-hit cycle in a nine-inning game since 1900 on April 15, 2009.