By Jason Shetler
On Wednesday, Jameson Taillon underwent surgery on his hernia. The recovery time of the surgery is expected to be eight weeks. Taillon felt discomfort in the hernia during an Extended Spring Training start a few weeks ago. He seemed to be pitching well to that point, and was likely going to pitch for AAA Indianapolis sooner rather than later.
It’s been a pretty rough journey for Taillon, who the Pirates took second overall in the 2010 MLB Draft. He was expected to be in Pittsburgh last year, but an elbow injury during Spring Training wiped away his season. Being fully recovered from Tommy John surgery, Taillon seemed like a good bet to join the Pirates later in the year, most likely in August. Now with the recent hernia surgery, the status of him returning this season remains a question mark. General manager Neal Huntington did rule out Taillon being a September call up.
If the recovery for Taillon goes smoothly, then there could be a possibility of him joining the Pirates in September. However, it’ll be difficult for him to get stretched out again since the minor league season will be over at that point. If Taillon does return this year, the Pirates could opt to use him as an extra arm out of the bullpen. Being able to have Taillon pitch in September would be significant, because it would allow the Pirates to have him legitimately compete for a rotation spot on the Opening Day roster next year rather than waiting until midseason to be called up so the Pirates can avoid Super 2.