The Pirates Need to Start Talking Long Term Extension with Jameson Taillon

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 23: Starter Jameson Taillon
ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 23: Starter Jameson Taillon /

For a variety of reasons, Jameson Taillon is quickly earning a long-term contract extension and it is time for the Pirates to begin to discuss one with him

After a tumultuous minor league career marred by injuries and surgeries, Jameson Taillon‘s day in the sun finally came last summer. The former number two overall draft pick missed essentially all of 2014 and 2015 due to Tommy John and hernia surgeries. Despite the setbacks, Taillon was never phased and never waivered.

On June 8th, 2016, Jameson Taillon made his long overdue Major League debut. Since then, he has been the Pittsburgh Pirates’ best starting pitcher. However, this has not come without more issues for Taillon.

As everyone reading this knows Jameson Taillon underwent surgery to address testicular cancer on May 8th. Once again, this did not phase Taillon. Less than three weeks later he was back on the mound in minor league rehab games. Then on June 12th, he returned to action for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Jameson Taillon could have easily struggled after his cancer treatment. He had one hell of a reason to struggle after all. However, he has done the exact opposite of struggle since returning to the mound. Instead, he has turned in the best 5 start stretch of his Major League career.

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Since returning from cancer Jameson Taillon owns a 1.98 ERA, 2.60 FIP, and a 3.43 xFIP in 27 1/3 innings pitched. In these 5 starts he is averaging 9.55 K/9, 2.96 BB/9, and 0.33 HR/9. Incredibly, all of these numbers are even better than what he posted in his first 6 starts of the season.

This is not to knock those first 6 starts, either. In these starts, Taillon owned a 3.31 ERA in 35 1/3 innings pitched. So it’s not like Jameson Taillon was struggling before missing time for his cancer treatment.

Since debuting last June Jameson Taillon has made 29 starts. He has averaged 7.78 K/9, 2.11 BB/9, 0.97 HR/9, and owns a 52.3 percent groundball rate in these 29 starts. Taillon owns a 3.13 ERA, 3.63 FIP, 3.54 xFIP, and a 2.9 fWAR in the 166 2/3 innings he has pitched in his Major League career.

Looking at his stats alone would appear to make Jameson Taillon a candidate for a long-term contract extension. What puts him over the top, though, is his attitude and work ethic. With all of the setbacks he has experienced in his career, Taillon has every reason imaginable to be nowhere near the pitcher he is.

With all of the setbacks he has experienced in his career, Taillon has every reason imaginable to be nowhere near the pitcher he is. The fact Taillon has overcome everything that he has to turn into one of the best young starting pitchers in the National League is a true testament to his work ethic, character, and resiliency as a human being. These are all traits that also make Taillon deserving of a long-term contract extension.

Jameson Taillon is the type of starting pitcher that can anchor a Major League rotation for a very long time. He truly has the stuff necessary to be a Cy Young candidate sooner rather than later. His curveball is quickly becoming one of the best putaway pitches in the National League, and his fastball can touch the upper 90s when needed.

Starting pitchers like Jameson Taillon do not come along very often. When a team gets one, they should do everything in their power to keep them around for the long haul. It is time for the Pittsburgh Pirates to begin to make this effort with Taillon.

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Since being drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2010 Jameson Taillon has been to hell and back both professionally and personally. Despite this, he has continued to take the ball and pitch exceptionally well for the Pirates.

Not only is Taillon a budding ace capable of anchoring the Pirate rotation for a longtime, he is also an A+ human being with an incredible attitude and work ethic. For these reasons, it is time for the Pittsburgh Pirates to begin discussing a long-term contract extension with Jameson Taillon.