Yankees: Jameson Taillon injury update provides good news

New York Yankees, Jameson Taillon

The New York Yankees have a lot left to do this off-season once the lockout finally comes to an end. Adding another starting pitcher will likely be at the top of their holiday list, but they do still have some solid talent in their current rotation coming off injury.

With Luis Severino earning a few essential reps at the end of the season, Domingo German expected to make a full return, and Jameson Taillon progressing through his rehabilitation after suffering a few torn ligaments in his ankle, there is upside to a rotation that struggled last year.

Taillon, specifically, just turned 30 years old a month ago. The former first-round pick back in the 2010 June Amateur Draft was traded to the Yankees from the Pittsburgh Pirates last season. His best friend, Gerrit Cole, vouched for him significantly, but he endured a few battles in his first season wearing pinstripes.

The former Pirate logged a 4.30 ERA, pitching 144.1 innings. In 18 games, he posted an 8.73 strikeout per nine rate but a career-low 33.2% ground ball rate.

The Yankees need Jameson to produce more ground balls in the future, with his average hovering around 47%. In addition, his home runs per-nine rate exploded to 1.50, the highest of his entire career.

Injury undoubtedly held him back at times, but he’s making solid progress this off-season in hopes of returning to spring training fully healthy.

“I was pretty much laid up in bed with my foot elevated for the first two weeks,” Lindsey Adler of The Athletic reports. “After that, I got put in my walking boot and I was able to really slowly start walking more. Now I’m out of the boot, I’ve been out of it for like 10 days and feeling really good.

“The inflammation is going down now, so it’s just kind of a buildup process, kind of just like the arm injuries I’ve dealt with, it’s just such a progression-based thing. I just started loading squats and starting to expand what I’m able to do.”

Coming off Tommy John surgery, Taillon saw a reduction in his fastball velocity, hovering around 94 mph this past season. Otherwise, he remained pretty consistent with his pitch usage, spreading them out nicely among his fastball, slider, curveball, and change-up. The only pitch that didn’t see a reduction in velocity was his changeup but saw a two-MPH drop-off with his slider.

Usually, it takes about a season for a player coming off a significant elbow injury to make a full recovery. Hopefully, they can get the best version of Taillon this upcoming season, especially if they fail to land one of the top remaining starters on the market.

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