Jameson Taillon Proves He Is Here To Stay

Jun 14, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jameson Taillon (50) pitches against the New York Mets during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 14, 2016; New York City, NY, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jameson Taillon (50) pitches against the New York Mets during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports /

After dominating the New York Mets at Citi Field on Tuesday night, Jameson Taillon has proved that he is here to stay in the Major Leagues.

Pittsburgh Pirate fans had long been yearning the arrival of right-handed pitching prospect Jameson Taillon. Last Wednesday, that day came as Taillon took the ball against the New York Mets. Jameson Taillon made his second career start last night, also against the New York Mets, and was absolutely dominant.

After his first start last Wednesday, Jameson Taillon was optioned back to Triple-A Indianapolis. However, that was largely due to the Pirates needing immediate bullpen help. Taillon returned on Tuesday to replace Pirate ace pitcher Gerrit Cole who was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday afternoon.

After the performance Jameson Taillon turned in on Tuesday night, I feel very safe saying that he is here to stay. Taillon absolutely dominated the New York Mets allowing just two runs, one walk, and five strike outs over eight scoreless innings. When you take into consideration that this game was on the road, just the second start of Jameson Taillon’s Major League career, and came when his team was on a five game losing streak it was an incredibly impressive performance form Taillon.

Over the course of his first two Major League starts Jameson Taillon has pitched 14 innings and posted a sparkling 1.93 ERA. In those 14 innings pitched Taillon has allowed just eight hits, he’s walked three batters, struck out eight, and has a 62.2 percent ground ball rate. Taillon has also shown a plus curveball, as well as a plus fastball with great late movement.

There have been a lot of impressive parts to Jameson Taillon’s game through his first two Major League starts, but there are two in particular that stand out to me. First off, Jameson Taillon has looked incredibly poised and confident on the mound. Taillon has not wavered at all when facing adversity on the mound, and even when behind in the count as not backed down from opposing hitters at all. This has included Taillon not being afraid to go to his breaking stuff when behind in the count, which is a great thing to see from a pitcher as young as Jameson Taillon.

The second has been Jameson Taillon’s ability to set up hitter for later in the game. Early in his starts Taillon has been throwing mostly fastballs, and getting outs with them. This has enabled Taillon to set up his breaking and off-speed pitches for later in the game. This was especially on display in his start last night, when the first time through the lineup he only threw two pitches that were not fastballs.

Jameson Taillon setting up an opposing lineup like this shows two things. One, that his fastball is a plus pitch and more than capable of playing at the Major League level. And two, that he is most certainly mature beyond his age.

Neal Huntington, Clint Hurdle, and the Pittsburgh Pirates have been projecting a one-two punch of Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon in their pitching rotation ever since Spring Training 2014. However, due to injuries to Taillon and now Cole this has yet to happen. But it should happen very soon, as Gerrit Cole is expected to miss just the minimum 15 days with his current disabled list stay.

A one-two punch of Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon has the potential to be as good as any in the Major Leagues. Once you factor in Tyler Glasnow down the road, plus, hopefully, good Francisco Liriano and the Pirate rotation can be as good as in all of baseball.

Next: Pirates 4, Mets 0: Stars And Stiffs

Two starts into his Major League career Jameson Taillon has proven he belongs and that he is here to stay. Barring an injury that would require a rehab start, I feel safe saying that Jameson Taillon will never pitcher for the Indianapolis Indians again. Watching Taillon grown and improve throughout the rest of this season should be a lot of fun.

Buckle up Pirate fans, because the Pittsburgh Pirates might be on their way to having the best rotation in all of baseball. Gerrit Cole is already a bonafide ace, Jameson Taillon has looked every bit of the pitcher he was hyped to be through his first two career starts, and Tyler Glasnow’s Major League debut should not be far away. And this goes without mentioning pitchers such as Francisco Liriano, Nick Kingham, Steven Brault, and Chad Kuhl.