The New York Yankees are about to enter a crucial nine-game stretch that will virtually decide their fate this season. At the moment, they are two games behind the Boston Red Sox for the first Wild Card spot in the American League, but hold the second one with a 0.5-game advantage over the Toronto Blue Jays.
Fate is an incredible thing: the Yankees will face both teams in their next two series: first, the Red Sox at Fenway Park starting on Friday, and next week, Toronto is next, also on the road.
The Yankees will need all the help they can handle. They have actually welcomed back two pitchers this week in Luis Severino and Domingo German. Next week, two more could follow: Jameson Taillon and Jonathan Loaisiga.
Loaisiga is already throwing and could advance to bullpen sessions this week, depending on how his shoulder responds to throwing at 120 feet.
Taillon, on the other hand, had his first game action in 16 days, per NJ Advance Media. He pitched for Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre on Wednesday, in the postseason, against fellow rehabber Noah Syndergaard, a member of the New York Mets.
What will the Yankees do with Taillon?
Taillon has been away from the Yankees since partially tearing his right ankle tendon on September 9. The starter was decent in his first rehab start, covering three innings and allowing two runs.
The right-hander threw 51 pitches, 36 of them for strikes. He will likely slot right back in the rotation whenever he is ready to return, as evidenced by his workload in last nightâ€™s outing.
Taillon finished his outing by retiring six batters in a row after four of the first six batters had hits against him. He ended up getting better as the night went on, and struck out two with a couple of walks.
The next step for the Yankees would be deciding if Taillon needs another start in the minors or if he will return to the active roster. If thatâ€™s the case, he would pitch the series opener against Toronto on Tuesday, but if they decide to hold him a bit longer, he would take the ball against Tampa in the last series of the season.