Yankees: Jameson Taillon takes significant step forward in rehab process

New York Yankees, Jameson Taillon

When the New York Yankees originally traded for Jameson Taillon, formerly of the Pittsburgh Pirates, most weren’t aware of the quality he was bringing. Taillon has undergone two Tommy John surgeries, which most don’t seem to be too worried about despite the severity of the injury.

At 29 years old, Taillon is reworking some of his fundamentals, incorporating more leg than arm when utilizing power. That could have an influential impact on his future health, as two Tommy John surgeries may attest to a lack of technique.

However, Jameson has only pitched 37.1 innings over the last two years, spending the last five seasons with the Pirates since 2016. His best campaign came in 2018, when he pitched 191 innings, earning a 3.20 ERA and 8.43 strikeouts per nine.

On Wednesday, Taillon featured in his first batting practice of the spring. He faced off against Aaron Judge, Clint Frazier, Aaron Hicks, and more, which is no easy task for a pitcher who hasn’t faced quality batters in two years.

“He started out a little slow and I really liked how he finished. I thought his stuff as he got going on got really crisp,” Boone said of Taillon.

Boone went on to say it was “another good step” for the former Pirate.

Where will the Yankees slot in Taillon?

Jameson is expected to slide into the third spot in the rotation, behind Gerrit Cole and Corey Kluber. Kluber, who is also taking positive strides with his rehabilitation, has pitched only 36 innings in two years, similar to the former Pirate. General manager Brian Cashman indicated that he did take a few risky moves this off-season, notably Kluber and Taillon, but if they do pan out, the Yankees could have one of the better starting rotations in baseball.

Having to replace three starters this off-season was no easy feat for Cashman, especially with ownership demanding he stay under the $210 million luxury tax threshold. Losing Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, and JA Happ left massive voids in the rotation, but it seems as if Cashman has done a good job filling those empty slots. Tanaka is the only one of the three that might be severely missed.

New York Yankees: Injury update on all the Yankees players

New York Yankees, Luis Severino

The New York Yankees are going into the 2021 season much more healthy than in the last two seasons, yet questions remain. Here is an update on all the player’s injuries, surgeries, and lingering problems from last season.

Luis Severino:

Luis Severino started to be a star pitcher for the Yankees and a possible ace after two years of a .700 or greater winning percentages. In 2018 he was 19-8 with a 3.39 ERA in record 32 starts. That all fell apart before spring training in 2019 when he required Tommy John surgery. It was thought that he might be back for 2020, but a setback prevented that. It was then expected that he would be back in August of 2021.

Now that spring training is going into the second week of workouts, Bryan Hoch, an MLB insider, has reported that Luis Severino was tossing at 120 feet. And manager Aaron Boone knows that first hand as the manager actually caught the former Yankees star recently. Boone said he was as strong as anybody in the bullpen and would likely throw from the mound in the next week or two. It now appears he could be back with the team as early as mid-June, although he will surely be on innings limitations.

Corey Kluber:

Corey Kluber, twice a Cy Young Award winner, has had some back luck the last two years. During 2019 he was hit by a ball the prematurely ended his season. In the offseason, he was traded to the Texas Rangers. He didn’t work out for the Rangers in the short 2020 season. In his first game, he developed a shoulder injury that only allowed him to pitch one inning. According to reports, he is back to form. The Yankees had an inside track to his recovery as he worked out with the Cressey organization that has ties to the Yankees.  He also impressed in a pitching demonstration before he was signed.

“I feel really good right now. No issues with [my shoulder] now or anywhere along the rehab process. That’s encouraging,” he said. “I feel like I’m in a normal spot for spring training. I don’t feel like I’m still working on improving the shoulder or anything like that. I think it’s in a spot where, obviously, any part of your body, it takes maintenance throughout the year, but I’m not putting any more emphasis on that than anything else on this point.”

Kluber says he feels great and is ready to go and expects to be on the mound for the New York Yankees in the first week of the regular season.

Jameson Taillon:

Taillon was coming off his second Tommy John surgery and did not pitch in 2020. During his rehab time, he has made big changes to his mechanics, shortening his arm path and working to generate more power from his legs — both of which can help him protect his elbow. Taillon is now nineteen months out from his last surgery and ready to go in spring training. Taillon and Gerrit Cole were pitching buddies while with the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 2018 he was 14-10 with a low 3.20 ERA. He feels with the mechanical adjustments; he can now be an even better pitcher for the New York Yankees.

Gio Urshela:

Gio Urshela was another trooper playing through injury last season. On September 4th, he was diagnosed with a bone spur in his right elbow. He went on the IL and returned eleven days later and played the rest of the season with the problem. It looked like the spur would not be a problem at the end of the season, but it flared up again while in Columbia, and surgery to remove it became necessary. Unfortunately, the coronavirus delayed that surgery. The surgery was finally done in December with a three-month recovery time. Manager Boone has said that Urshela is doing well, and although he may not be used in exhibition games due to an abundance of caution, he will be ready for the regular season.

Luke Voit:

Luke Voit was last year’s home run king for all of baseball, hitting 22 long balls, but it wasn’t always easy running the bases. During the last half of the season and in the postseason, he was dealing with foot issues. It was diagnosed as plantar fasciitis. Voit could have gone on the IL, but the kind of player with his determination would not allow him to do so. He had a PRP shot and dealt with it like a trooper. It has been reported the foot problem is no longer an issue. Voit was a Thurmon Munson award winner this month.

Luckily for the first time since 2018, the New York Yankees have their two monster sluggers in good shape going into the new season. Both Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge are healthy going into spring training, which is great news for Yankees fans. If these two can stay healthy throughout the season, there may be no stopping the Yankees.

In other good news, Gleyber Torres, who was caught off guard last season with his conditioning due to the split spring training, is in good shape and ready for the season, according to manager Aaron Boone. The Yankees also have the return of Domingo German, who was not injured last season but suspended. Although all fans and even some players aren’t thrilled he is back because of his off-field entanglements, he could be a big help in the starting rotation and eventually show the man he can be.

For the New York Yankees and all the MLB teams, this will be a year of caution in how they deal with pitchers and position players as they adjust to a season nearly three times the length of last season.  The Yankees, with their depth, may have an edge on some of the other teams but will be careful in limited innings pitched and dole out days off to keep players fresh for a postseason run.

New York Yankees Analysis: Yankee pitching rotation now and in the postseason

Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees

For the New York Yankees, this whole offseason has been about re-signing DJ LeMahieu. And to answer the statement, it’s the pitching stupid; the Yankees have also, once they signed LeMahieu, addressed the pitching situation big time. The Yankees have big-time pitching depth, but they want the best possible rotation to win them the division and carry them through the postseason. Last season they did not have that, which is why they cleaned the house.

The Yankees first signed two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber. Then shortly after that, they traded with the Pittsburgh Pirates for starter Jameson Taillon. They also added a big arm to the bullpen with Darren O’Day’s hiring, one of the best relievers out there, one that was 4-1 last season with a tiny 1.01 ERA.

Getting back to the depth, they have Domingo German coming back for a year’s suspension. In 2019 before he was forced to leave the team, he was 18-4, being the best New York Yankee starter. Later in the season, they will also have the returning Luis Severino, who is coming back from Tommy John Surgery. Beyond that, they have Jordan Montgomery, and of course, the Yankee ace Gerrit Cole. In the wings are Deivi Garcia, Clarke Schmidt, Jonathan Loaisiga, and Michael King.

As it stands now, the starting rotation on April 1 will be Gerrit Cole, then Corey Kluber, following him will be Jameson Taillon. The fourth and fifth spots on the rotation are less clear. It will probably be Domingo German and Jordan Montgomery or the other way around. What could change this is how each of these pitchers pitches in spring training. If Domingo German is dominating, you will see him move up the latter.

Kluber: Has barely pitched since 2018 due to various injuries. Soft-tissue injuries are concerning, but he’s ready for the season and impressed scouts at his showcase. Taillon: Says he completely changed his mechanics, and his arm feels better after his second Tommy John surgery. He will probably have some workload adjustments, but theoretically would be geared toward having him ready for October. The New York Yankees, in general, will have to be careful with all the starters as they gear up for a 162 game season and still be fresh enough for a postseason run.

Germán: Healthy (as far as we’re aware, and he’s been posting workout videos on Instagram) but hasn’t pitched in an MLB game since September 2019. He pitched well that season, but still somewhat unclear what his overall ceiling is as a starter. Severino: Expected back late summer. That can give him time to settle into the MLB flow again, but I think he might have the most challenging path to the postseason, if for no other reason than having the time to gear up and get his pitching strength back.

As far as a rotation for the postseason, guessing that is a fool’s game. It will all amount to who pitches best during the regular season and who is hot at the end of the season. For instance, if Cole ends September 18-5 and Kluber ends up 20-4 and is more desirable at the end of the season. The Yankees will have some big questions to answer for that game 1 starter. That may seem unthinkable now, but the Yankees will go with their best pitcher in the end.

 

 

New York Yankees News/Rumors: Yankees going west, Taillion ready, Joey Gallo, and more

New York Yankees

For the New York Yankees, there has been a shift west. On Monday morning, reporter Ken Rosenthal tweeted that MLB is getting closer to releasing a revised spring training schedule for Florida’s Grapefruit League. The plan calls for the Grapefruit league in Flordia two be in two separate pods. Those teams on the east coast will play only teams on that coast, the teams like the Yankees on the west coast playing teams on that same coast. All this to reduce travel during spring training while being jammed into buses for long rides.

If adopted, that would mean that the Yankees will be playing 24 games with the Philadelphia Phillies, the Detroit Tigers, Toronto Blue Jays, and the Pittsburgh Pirates who are all located from St. Petersburg south to Fort Myers, as noted by MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch. All of this to promote safety as the coronavirus still has its grip on Florida and the Cactus League in Arizona. No plan has been released for the Arizona teams as the fields of play are much closer together. The remaining four games to make up the 28 exhibition games will be intra-squad games.

Jameson Taillon is ready to pitch

The New York Yankees have made several pitching changes after losing Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, and J.A. Happ to free agency after the 2020 season. Only Paxton remains unsigned this offseason. The New York Yankees, in turn, hired the services of two-time Cy Young award winner Corey Kluber. They also traded four prospects for Jameson Taillon and hired one of the best relievers last year, Darren O’Day.

The signing of Kluber and Taillon was a low-risk, high reward deal as if the duo could return to their previous form, the Yankee rotation will be formidable. Taillon did not pitch last year, coming back from his second Tommy John surgery. Per ESPN’s Buster Olney, “Taillon, now 18 months removed from elbow reconstruction surgery, is said to be throwing with exceptional control and appears ready to go for the start of the Yankees’ camp.”

Is Joey Gallo a Yankee trade target?

Joey Gallo is an infielder for the Texas Rangers; he is a lefty bat that the New York Yankees might find interesting. He hit only .181 last season but with 10 home runs, and that is the equivalent of 27 in a normal 162 game season. A trade with Texas would add just over $6 million to the Yankee payroll, which the Yankees can afford with their $9 million left and remain below the dreaded luxury tax threshold.

At this point, the Rangers are not likely to let loose of Gallo, but according to how the season goes, they might be interested in a package at the trade deadline. That also might be a point when the Yankees would be more interested. Gallo hits to all parts of the field. If the Yankees decide they need bullpen help at the deadline, a Gallo package can be expanded to include a potential All-Star reliever like José Leclerc, who went down with a shoulder injury in 2020, but struck out 100 men in 68.2 innings pitched the previous season, and posted a 1.56 ERA the year prior, whiffing 85 in 57.2 innings pitched.

A deal with Texas with Leclerc and Gallo might make perfect sense for the Yankees before the trade deadline. The Yankees could also use Kyle Gibson, who can be ultra-reliable as a back end reliever. Here’s an intriguing deal: Yankees send Luis Gil, Alexander Vizcaino, and Albert Abreu to the Rangers for Gallo, Leclerc, and Gibson. To make that happen, the Yankees might have to sweeten the deal a bit.

Could Asdrúbal Cabrera be a Yankees target?

The New York Yankees are always looking for depth. If the Yankees decide to seek an upgrade to Tyler Wade and Thairo Estrada, Cabrera could be an upside option. Cabrera is a middle field option by trade. He is a 14-year veteran and has added both corner infield spots to his repertoire over the last three seasons, all while posting a 98 OPS+ over the last two years and 108 OPS+ dating back to 2016.

A veteran like Cabrera might seem like an enticing guy for the Yankees to pursue, a veteran infielder whose bat will almost certainly be an upgrade and who has already demonstrated the debatably-existent “ability to play in New York, he played for the New York Mets from 2016 to 2018. He has played his last two seasons with the Washington Nationals, where he racked up 19 homers with a .258 batting average.

New York Yankees: Jameson Taillon fantastic rehab news

Jameson Taillon, New York Yankees

With ownership forcing general manager Brian Cashman to stay under the $210 million luxury tax threshold, there’s no surprise the New York Yankees took a few additional risks this off-season. The Yankees will rely on players coming off of the injuries to keep the cost down, as their contracts are more cost-efficient.

Cashman landed Corey Kluber on a one year, $11 million deal and traded for Jameson Taillon of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Both starters haven’t pitched over 37 innings over the past two seasons, but the expectation is that both will be ready for spring training. Kluber stated last week that physically he feels good but mentally, he needs to find his way out of rehabilitatio-mode. On the other hand, Taillon has been extremely optimistic about his status and expects to be 100% healthy for the season.

Per ESPN’s Buster Olney:

Taillon, now 18 months removed from elbow reconstruction surgery, is said to be throwing with exceptional control and appears ready to go for the start of the Yankees’ camp.

Taillon has undergone Tommy John surgery twice in his career, but with a slight change in his fundamentals and utilizing more of his legs, he should be able to take that additional pressure off his arm. As a former first-round pick, Taillon has spent the last five seasons with Pittsburgh, missing the entire 2020 campaign.

Taillon’s last significant sample size was in 2018, when he pitched 191 innings. He logged a 3.20 ERA with 8.43 strikeouts per nine. He has the ability to dominate at the MLB level, and his familiarity with Gerrit Cole will likely make his transition to the Yankees much smoother. He primarily utilizes a fastball, slider, curveball, and change-up. He hovers in the 95 mph range with his fastball, which is an indication of solid velocity. As he tweaks his fundamentals and utilizes his legs more, Jameson should be able to put a bit more power behind his pitches.

Despite the risks, Cashman took this off-season, if the dice roll his way, the starting rotation will be in great shape moving forward.

Yankee News/Rumors: Cash and Pudge talk Sanchez, Taillon upset already, and more

New York Yankees, Gary Sanchez, Gerrit Cole, Aaron Boone

Brian Cashman and Pudge Rodriguez talk Gary Sanchez

Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, who caught for the New York Yankees during 2008 and has since become a Hall of Famer, received a Thurmon Munson Award Tuesday night virtually. When speaking with reporters, Pudge had much to say about Gary Sanchez’s 2020 season and his commitment to bounce back this year.

“What the Yankees organization needs to do is just let him play baseball,” Rodriguez said. “He has tremendous ability, defensively and offensively. I know that he’s been struggling in both sides of the game, but I think right now it’s more mental.”

Ivan Rodriguez believes that he saw a player who needs to rediscover his love of the game.

“This year, he needs to come back to Spring Training ready to play, enjoying the game and enjoying putting that pinstriped uniform on,” Rodriguez said. “Go out there and be with his teammates, go behind the plate and do what he can do. I know he can be a great player behind the plate and also with his hitting.”

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman talked about whether to non-tender Gary in December, which would have allowed him to become a free agent. The Yankees still believe the 28-year-old catcher can still be one of the best catchers in the league. Cashman and others in the front office showed their support for Sanchez by tendering him and giving him a slight raise, despite his horrible season last year.

“The fact that he’s still with us is proof of how we felt and how we feel,” Cashman said. “I know he’s looking forward to proving last year was a fluke. We look forward to him justifying our continued commitment to him and his talent level. We’ve invested our time, effort and money into him, for good reason.”

Jameson Taillon is upset with MLB.

Just a week ago, the New York Yankees traded with the Pittsburgh Pirates for starting pitcher Jameson Taillon who is coming back from his second Tommy John surgery. In the short time since he came to New York, much has been written about the talented pitcher and the Yankees’ hope that he can bounce back to his 2018 form. One thing that has not been advertised is that when with the PIraters, he was their representative to the MLBPA, The Major League Baseball Players Association.

When Taillon talks with his experience, he knows what he is speaking about and means what he says. Now with the Yankees, although he is not the Yankees representative, that hasn’t stopped him from letting us know how he feels about MLB and player issues. Now he is talking about the MLB’s latest moves to change the season and his disapproval.

“I know from a player perspective, we anticipated and expected the league to come to us with something back in October, November…December, even,” Taillon. said “At a certain point as a player, you have to get ready to compete. For them to come to us now, this late into the offseason while guys have…I mean, the human aspect of it, guys have started shipping cars, booking Airbnbs for spring training, all that. But then from like the big-league ballplayer side of it, guys are ramped up. Guys are facing hitters. I was watching Tyler Glasnow pump 97 against hitters the other day. Now you’re gonna ask him to ramp it back down and take a break? I just don’t think that’s right.”

It should be noted that not only Tyler Glasnow is at camp. Several Yankees are already working out at the George M. Steinbrenner training facility in Tampa, and why not its certainly better weather there than in New York. Among those already in Tampa are Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge, Luke Voit, Mike Ford, and Michael King. Catchers and pitchers don’t have to report until February 17, with the rest of the team on the 21st.

The Post’s Davidoff makes a case for Gardner

The New York Post’s Ken Davidoff thinks Brett Gardner will be back with the Yankees in 2021. I’ll wager $6 million over three years that the Yankees and Gardner find a way to reunite. I think it’ll happen, but based on the factors in play, I’m not willing to bet much on it.

Davidoff gave several reasons the New York Yankees should work on a deal. If Gardner could get a three-year deal, he would be as happy as a kid in a candy shop as he wants to retire from baseball as a Yankee where he has spent the last 15 years of his life.

Davidoff pointed out that he is a potential lefty bat on the bench that can at times hit for power. Gardner is a genuine lefty bat that is better than the lefties on the bench, Mike Tauchman, Mike Ford, and Tyler Wade. Gardner is also a bonafide centerfielder easily capable of replacing Aaron Hicks should he get injured. Brett can also fill in nicely in left field. Gardner is the most durable outfielder the Yankees have had. In all of baseball, he is second in plate appearances over the last eight years for outfielders.

Fauci wants another try

The nation’s top virus expert thinks that by mid-summer, enough baseball fans will be vaccinated to allow socially distanced fans in the nation’s ballparks. He also wants a redo of his terribly botched first pitch of the season last year at Nationals Park.

“I would hope that by the time we get into May, June, July, that we will have enough people vaccinated in the country that the level of infection would be low enough — maybe not yet total herd immunity — but low enough to say that we can go to a game, you know: wear a mask, but be seated — not sitting right next to each other,” Fauci said.

New York Yankees: The Yankees have made over 2 dozen moves to improve the team for 2021

New York Yankees, Darren O'Day

During this offseason, the New York Yankees almost stood still waiting to see if they could re-sign DJ LeMahieu and how much it would cost them to keep him in pinstripes. Since then, there has been a flurry of activity both by signings and trades. Today is a good time to look at how the Yankee front office has improved the team; here are some major acquisitions, although there are other dozen minor league signings.

Adam Warren 12/15:

This is a reunion, Warren has pitched for the New York Yankees before. Last year with the San Diego Padres, he was 4-1 with an ERA of 5.36. He played for New York from 2012. He started one game and gave up 2 runs in 2 innings for a 23.14 ERA. From 2013 to 2016, he was 17-17 with an ERA of 3.23. Again with the Yankees from 2017-18, he was 3-3 with an ERA of 2.53. Now he is back with the Yankees on a minor league deal.

Nestor Cortes Jr. 01/04:

Nestor Cortes Jr. is another returning Yankee. Nestor was 0-1 with an ERA of 15.26 last year with Seattle. With the Yankees in 2019, he 5-1 with an ERA of 5.67 across 33 games.

Jhoulys Chacin 01/06:

Chacin has spent most of his ten-year career with the Colorado Rockies. He has a career record of 78-87 ERA 4.04. Last year with the Milwaukee Brewers, he was 1-0 ERA 7.20.

Greg Allen 01/06:

Greg Allen was an outfielder for the Indians for four years, but they played for the San Diego last year. He throws right but is a switch hitter. Greg Allen is 6′ 0″, 185 pounds. He has been invited to spring training. He was obtained via the trade with the Padres.

Tyler Lyons 01/06:

Lyons spent most of his career with the St. Louis Cardinals. He pitched in 2019 for the Yankees, and he was again with the Yankees in 2020. He combined for 12 games with an elevated ERA. He pitched in only one game in 2020 with an ERA of 21.60.

Andrew Valazquez 01/06:

Valazquez is a highly rated prospect that has played three years in the Majors. He started with the Tampa Bay Rays. Last year with the Baltimore Orioles, he had a .159 batting average. He is a good defender.

Jameson Taillon 01/24:

The New York Yankees sent four prospects to the Pittsburgh Pirates for starting pitcher Jameson Taillon. The acquisition puts buddies Taillon and Gerrit Cole back together again as they both pitched together with the Pirates. He is returning from his second Tommy John surgery, but if he can return to his 2018 form, the Yankees will have a bonified star.

DJ LeMahieu 01/27:

The Yankee’s priority this offseason was to re-sign DJ LeMahieu, and they put most everything else on hold until they could sign him. They finally agreed to a six-year deal that will keep DJ here until he is 38. The Yankees got him for $15 million a year. He was last year’s batting champ.

Corey Kluber 01/27:

As soon as the Yankees re-signed LeMahieu, they immediately completed a deal that they had been working on with 2 time Cy Young Award winning Corey Kluber. Kluber was hit by a pitch in 2019 that ended his season. He was traded to the Rangers but only pitched one inning in 2020 after injuring his shoulder. The Yankees will have a real deal if he can return to his 2018 form. The Yankees deal was for one year and $11 million.

Darren O’Day 02/01:

The Yankees hired Darren O’Day, one of last year’s best relievers. He went 4-1 with a tiny ERA of 1.10. The addition of O’Day to the bullpen will give the bullpen an entirely different look. He is a submariner, the first the Yankees have had in years. His sidearm delivery will give manager Aaron Boone a lot of flexibility in giving hitters totally different looks.

Asher Wojciechowski 02/02

Acquiring Asher was also a reunion of sorts; it puts him back with his old teammate Zack Britton. They both played for the Baltimore Orioles together. Last year with the Orioles, he was 1-2 with an ERA of 6.81. The deal will pay Wojciechowski a $750,000 salary if he makes it to the big leagues

Kyle Barraclough 02/03:

The Yankees have taken another chance with a pitcher that did not pitch last year. Barraclough pitched in the MLB during the 2019 season, having also played for Washington and Miami. Last year with the Padres, he didn’t make it out of the Padres minor league system. In 2019 he pitched just 33.2 innings and logging a 5.61 ERA.

Yankees News: Tampa Bay Rays tried to sabotage Corey Kluber/Jameson Taillon acquisitions

New York Yankees, Corey Kluber

The New York Yankees made significant moves over the past few weeks, outbidding teams for Corey Kluber and acquiring Jameson Taillon in a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates. General manager Brian Cashman has been busy, but he’s been facing opposition for his latest acquisitions, as AL East rivals tried to sabotage his plans. Specifically, the Tampa Bay Rays had their sights set on Corey Kluber and also tried to trade for Taillon, which is a precarious situation since the Yankees clearly had the two in their focus.

After the Rays decided to let Charlie Morton walk in free agency and traded ace Blake Snell, they had to fill two starting spots in the rotation, and while they did target both of the starters, the Yankees ended up landing, their attempts at sabotage fell silently.

Buster Olney of ESPN confirmed Tampa’s interest in the Yankees’ targets:

The Rays decided to not pick up the option of Charlie Morton and traded Blake Snell, but that does not mean they’ve given up on trying to upgrade the rotation this winter. They were in the bidding for Corey Kluber, with manager Kevin Cash driving across the state to see Kluber in person. They also tried to trade for Jameson Taillon — with both pitchers landing on the roster of the division-rival Yankees.”

The Yankees are taking a risky approach with both Kluber and Taillon, no matter how you look at it. While both starters are expected to be fully healthy for Opening Day, they’re coming off significant injuries and have barely pitched over the past two seasons. Cashman did not have much of a choice but to take a chance on both players, as ownership enforced a strict rule to keep the team under the $210 million luxury tax threshold.

Nonetheless, the Yankees were extremely enticed by Pittsburgh’s reviews of Taillon, as Aaron Boone stated it was the best feedback he had ever gotten for a player.

“This is the best [feedback] I’ve gotten, by far,” Boone said. “Across the board, what I heard was how this guy is unbelievable, as far as the human being that he is.”

With spring training expected to start up on February 17, expect both starters to continue the rehabilitation and work their way toward normalcy. The biggest hurdle will likely be mentality, as they both are physically in good shape to start ramping things up.

New York Yankees Player Profiles: Jameson Taillon is he an ace in the making?

Jameson Taillon, New York Yankees

Now that the New York Yankees have re-signed DJ LeMahieu, they have concentrated on improving the pitching, both starting, and the bullpen. The two significant changes in the starting rotation are indeed significant. First, they signed Corey Kluber, a two-time Cy Young Award winner. Shortly after that, they traded with the Pittsburgh Pirates to bring starter Jameson Taillon, pronounced Tie-own, to the Bronx.

Taillon could be a big boost to the New York Yankees rotation and probably will start in the number 3 spot behind Gerrit Cole and Corey Kluber. Taillon brings another look to the rotation with an entirely different pitching style. If successful, it could give the Yankees a one, two, three punch at the top of the rotation that opponents will fear. In 2019, he relied primarily on his Slider (89mph), Fourseam Fastball (95mph), and Sinker (95mph), also mixing in a Curve (83mph) and Change (89mph). … His curve is much harder than usual and has a sharp downward bite—Taillon’s pitching results in many ground balls that fit Yankee Stadium nicely.

Frustrated by a second Tommy John surgery, the Yankees’ newest starter worked with a “village” of experts to revamp his delivery. He is ready to display it on day one with the New York Yankees. Let’s look at the journey that has led him to the Yankees.

Jameson Lee Taillon is 29 years old, born on November 18, 1991. He is a Canadian/American citizen, but he was born in Lakeland, Florida. His family moved to Texas, where the tall young man attended Woodlands High School in Woodland. He played baseball for the Highlanders. It was there that he got the attention of Pittsburgh Pirates scouts with his 22-6 record. In his senior year at Woodland, he threw a no-hitter, striking out 19 hitters. His 2010 senior record was 8-1.

Out of high school, Taillon signed a letter of intent to attend college but was drafted in the Pirates’ in the first round. Just hours before the deadline, he did choose the Pirates over Rice University for a $6.5 million signing bonus, the second-highest bonus in draft history at the time. Taillon made his professional debut on April 27, 2011. He joined the team on April 24 after staying in Florida for an extended spring training assignment. He spent the season with the West Virginia Power, going 2–3 with a 3.98 ERA in 23 starts.

Taillon was named to appear in the 2012All-Star Futures Game. He started the 2012 season with the Marauders but was quickly promoted to the Altoona Curve. In August, he was named the Eastern League pitcher of the week. In 26 starts between the two teams, he was 9-8 with a 3.55 ERA. He was promoted to the Indianapolis Indians, but after the season, he had his first Tommy John surgery to repair a UCL of the elbow, causing him to miss the entire 2014 season. He also missed the 2015 season with a sports hernia.

During 2016 Taillon spent his time between the Pirates and the minors going back and forth. He made his Major League Debut after 10 starts in the minors. Taillon went 4–2 with a 2.04 ERA, striking out 61 in 61.2 innings and walking only 6. In another Pirate’s start, he faced Noah Syndergaard; Taillon threw 6 innings, giving up 3 runs on 6 hits, 2 walks, and 3 strikeouts, not receiving a decision in the eventual 6–5 loss. In his second start against the Mets, he threw 8 scoreless innings, carrying a no-hitter into the seventh before former Yankees Curtis Granderson broke it up, recording his first win in the 4–0 victory. He spent the remainder of 2016 with Pittsburgh. In 18 starts, he compiled a 5–4 record and 3.38 ERA.

In 2017 he was in the Pirate’s starting rotation, but he underwent surgery for testicular cancer in May. After just a few weeks, he was back with the club and finished the season with 25 starts; he had an 8–7 record and 4.44 ERA. He pitched the entire 2018 season uninjured with a 3.20 ERA in 32 starts. His 2019 season was cut short when he required his second Tommy John surgery. He did not pitch in 2020 while rehabbing.

General manager Brian Cashman has a history of taking chances on previously injured players, as he has already done with Corey Kluber. In a worst-case scenario, both of these pitchers will be average pitchers, but there is also an excellent chance that they excel for the Yankees and prove their worth with minor investment.  This will give the Yankees a whole season to evaluate Domingo German and Luis Severino’s returning pitchers and further develop prospects Deivi Garcia, Clarke Schmidt, and Michael King.

At just 29 years old, Taillon is a 6-foot-5, 230-pound pitcher. He primarily utilizes a fastball that can top out at 98 mph, sinker, slider, and a circle curveball. He gets an impressive 50% ground ball rate, which plays well at Yankee Stadium. Taillon is not the pitcher in 2019; he has developed a new delivery to take the strain off his arm by using his hip more efficiently in his delivery.

“I kind of had like a coming-to-grips moment where I said, ‘My current set of mechanics and what I’m doing isn’t working,’” he said in a conference call with reporters. “That’s just the cold, hard truth. I need to change something or else my career is going to be over.”

Taillon has accomplished that working with the training staff, coaches, and a visit to the Florida Baseball Ranch, a facility in Lakeland, Fla., that uses diagnostics to improve health and performance. Over time, the pitcher refashioned his windup and delivery. Taillon declared that he was healthy and would be ready for spring training, whenever it starts. He has been throwing off a mound with the goal of preparation, not rehabilitation.

Taillon said that he now had more spin on his fastball and that his cut fastball had evolved into more of a true slider. He still relies on a sloping curveball, having discovered a comfortable grip on his evolving changeup, which gives him the potential for at least five pitches. Taillon has the ability to become a true ace. The New York Yankees have control of him through the 2022 season.

Jameson is currently dating his longtime girlfriend Claire Petratis; he spends a lot of time with her. They like to travel and go on vacations together. There are no rumors of an upcoming engagement. It is reported that he lives in the Pittsburg area but will be moving to New York. On his Twitter account, he has been asked for the places to get the best coffee in New York City. He has said he wants to visit all the New York sights. He is reportedly a great guy with a big heart. He is associated with charitable organizations, including “Lending Hearts,” a nonprofit org facilitating peer support, through educational & recreational activities & programs, to kids & teens with cancer and in remission from cancer. Baseball America has compared him to Stephen Strasburg and Burt Blyleven.

Taillon coming to the New York Yankees is a reunion of sorts, and he is now professionally reengaged with this long-time close friend Gerrit Cole. They pitched in the minors together and for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2016 and 2017, where they became best friends. You can be sure Cole had something to do with Taillon coming to the Yankees. Cole said on Twitter:

“I told the Yankees that if you’re going to bet on someone, if you’re going to go into battle with someone, that Jameson is the guy you want next to you. He is not fazed. He makes the people around him better. He is one of the most resilient people I have evern known.”

New York Yankees: How does the Yankee rotation stack up against other MLB teams? (audio)

When fans turn on their Television on April 1 to watch the first game of the 2021 baseball season, they will see the New York Yankee’s ace Gerrit Cole face the Toronto Blue Jay’s ace Hyun Jin Ryu. After that, fans will see a totally different pitching rotation, a whole new look, the biggest change since the 2009 season when the Yankees won their last World Series. The only two holdover pitchers from last year are Cole and Jordan Montgomery.

The projected starting rotation is projected to look like this: 1. Gerrit Cole, 2. Corey Kluber, 3. Jameson Taillon DD, 4. Jordan Montgomery, 5. Deivi Garcia. Taillon is listed as a day to day decision lineup according to ESPN. Zack Britton will also be closing the first two games at the Stadium as Aroldis Chapman serves his suspension for allegedly throwing at the Tampa Bay Ray’s Mike Brosseau. The question is, how do the New York Yankees’ pitching rotation stack up against the other 30 MLB teams?

Joe Giglio of NJ Advance Media has taken to the task of rating the starting rotation of all the MLB teams. Giglio is with NJ.com and is a host on WFAN in New York and WIP in Philadelphia. According to Giglio, the Yankees have the 8th best pitching rotation in baseball. Here are the top 10 teams. I believe the Yankees should be number 6 on the list, but that being said, I believe if general manager Brian Cashman’s risks pay off, they might be number one.

  1. The San Deigo Padres: The Padres have been one of the most active teams this offseason to improve their rotation and the team as a whole. They have overtaken the Los Angeles Dodgers having the best rotation in baseball. Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, Dinelson Lamet, Joe Musgrove, Chris Paddack lead off their rotation. Darvish, Snell, and Musgrove are all new to the team. The best left-handed pitching prospect in baseball waiting in the wings, MacKenzie Gore.
  2. Los Angeles Dodgers: The Dodgers have always put forth a great pitching rotation; this year, they will be challenged by the Padres in the NL West. The Dodgers rotation shapes up this way: Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, Julio Urias, David Price, Dustin May. Kershaw was 6-2 with an ERA of 2.16 last season; Yu Darvish had the most starts, along with Gerrit Cole in baseball with 12 starts and a record of 8-3 and an ERA of 2.01.
  3. Cleveland Indians: The Indians pitching rotation will look like this: Shane Bieber, Zach Pleasc, Aaron Civale, Triston McKenzie, Logan Allen. The Indians have a reputation for having one of the best pitcher development systems in baseball. The Yankees Corey Kluber was with the Indians from 2011 for nine years. Shane Bieber had the best record in baseball last year, 8-1 with an ERA of 1.63. However, it should be noted that the Yankee rolled over the Indians in the two-game 2020 postseason, with Cole beating Bieber in the first games and Chapman taking the win in the second game.
  4. Atlanta Braves: Their rotation will be Max Fried, Charlie Morton, Ian Anderson, Drew Smyly, Kyle Wright, Mike Soroka is a mix of young and veterans. Morton and Smyly are additions this year. Charlie Morton was with the Tampa Bay Rays during the 2020 season.
  5. The Washington Nationals: The Nationals, for the last few years, has had one of the best pitching rotations on paper. In 2019 that paid off when they won the World Series. This year the rotation looks like this: Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin, Jon Lester, Joe Ross. This year’s enhancement includes picking up Jon Lester, and in the bullpen, Brad Hand.
  6. The Chicago White Sox: The Whites Sox have been the second most active mover and shaker in the offseason. Their 2021 rotation is Lucas Giolito, Dallas Keuchel, Lance Lynn, Dylan Cease, Michael Kopech. Lance Lynn, the former Yankee in 2018, is a workhorse. They also picked up a former Yankee target Liam Hendriks to add to their bullpen.
  7. The New York Mets: Their rotation is lead by what many industry sources say is the best pitcher in baseball, Jacob deGrom. He is followed by Carlos Carrasco, Marcus Stroman, David Peterson, Joey Lucchesi, Noah Syndergaard. Stroman re-signed this year, and Carlos Carrasco came to the Mets with the Francisco Lindor deal from the Indians.
  8. The New York Yankees: The Yankees have a whole new look this season dumping some mediocre pitchers for a new low risk, high reward bet on pitchers coming back for the first time after not pitching last year. Many sources that don’t believe deGrom is the best say that Gerrit Cole is, and he leads off the Yankees. Behind him this season is newly acquired 2 times Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber, Jameson Taillon, Jordan Montgomery, and Deivi Garcia. Because of the question marks, the rotation does not make the top five; however, if all pans out and with the New York Yankees amazing depth of Luis Severino, Domingo German, and Clarke Schmidt, the Yankees have the potential of having the best rotation in baseball.
  9. After the Yankees, the rotations drop off quickly. Number nine is the Oakland Athletics. They will feature Sean Manaea, Frankie Montas, Jesus Luzardo, Chris Bassitt, A.J. Puk. The Athletic beat the White Sox in the Wild Card but lost to the Astros in the Division Series. Although the A’s have been active, they have picked up any big names to improve the team.
  10. The Milwaukee Brewers: The Brewers will again be contenders this season. The Brewer’s problem if they have a tremendous one-two punch leading off the pitching staff, but from there, it falls off dramatically with a lack of depth. Their rotation will be Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes, Josh Lindblom, Adrian Houser, Eric Lauer. The Brewers are hoping for a Lindblom bounceback.