Yankees’ Jameson Taillon made his long-anticipated return: ‘I’ll never take a day in a big-league uniform for granted’

New York Yankees, Jameson Taillon
Feb 24, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Jameson Taillon (50) throws a pitch during live batting practice during spring training workouts at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees knew they were making a somewhat risky move when they flipped a few prospects, including Miguel Yajure, to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange of Jameson Taillon. After all, he has undergone three elbow surgeries and also worked his way back from a testicular cancer diagnosis back in 2017.

But the Yankees also knew they were getting not only a survivor, but a warrior. A man that has learned perseverance and resilience, and knows how to deal with adversity. Those character traits matter in Major League Baseball.

Last night, Taillon pitched his first game since May 2019, when he underwent his third elbow procedure, and second Tommy John reconstructive surgery. The Yankees were bringing him back along slowly, but he showed in spring training he is ready for prime time.

On Wednesday, Taillon was in the mound for 4 2/3 innings, in which he allowed two solo home runs and struck out seven Baltimore Orioles hitters.

The Yankees’ starter is ‘grateful’

“I’m extremely grateful,” Taillon said after the game, per Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. “That game ran a little long, and I had plenty of time to get my thoughts. It’s going to sound cheesy, but I’ll never take a day in a big-league uniform for granted, that’s for sure. I was super happy to be out there; it felt really good to compete.”

Taillon, who is currently 29 years old, has the potential to be an asset for the Yankees from the mound, even if he is not expected to cover seven or eight innings at a time.

Despite the three elbow surgeries and the cancer diagnosis, Taillon actually has great career numbers, as he has a career 3.67 ERA and 1.24 WHIP in 83 starts, most of them with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Yankees fans, and baseball people in general, are all rooting for Taillon and hoping his 2021 season goes smoothly.

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