Yankees righty Jameson Taillon made his second appearance of spring training, and allowed just two hits and struck out four in two innings of work against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday afternoon
Taillon got the start against his former team after Gerrit Cole threw a live BP session instead due to the rain and uncertainty of the game.
“Yeah, I thought it was good work, I’m happy we got the game in, I wasn’t so sure with the rain,” Taillon said. “That first start being only seven pitches, there’s some things I haven’t experienced in a couple years. Like in-game situations, runners on, holding running, mixing my tempo, mixing my looks to second with a runner there. Even the little things like going through sign packages with the catcher, that’s a situation I haven’t been in a while. So I was actually pretty happy to get put in that spot, and put in a spot where I had to make some pitchers with traffic on.”
The game was played at the Pirates spring training facility in Bradenton, Fla., a place that Taillon became very familiar with over his long tenure with the organization.
“I’ve spent a lot of time in Bradenton,” Taillon said. “I think I’ve done just over the years, six instructional leagues years here, nine or ten spring trainings, a full year of a rehab, most of another year, then a lot this past 2020 COVID year was down here. So I’ve done that same drive a lot. I didn’t have to pull up my Google maps to get here. Spent a lot of time around here, definitely going down memory lane pulling up.”
Taillon was asked about his new delivery and how it compares to the way he used to throw.
“We’re still in the information gathering stages, but for sure I’ve noticed pitching up in the zone to both side of the plate,” Taillon said. “I used to pitch up to lefties a good amount, but righties I was like sinkers in, and I would just throw my four-seam down and away. But like I got a strikeout today on a four-seam up in the top of zone. For me that’s really exciting, because it’s a pitch in the past I’ve just never put a ton of emphasis on.
“So if I have that part of the zone open to me against righties, that’s really exciting. I feel like I can get away with a little more in the zone, so it’s kind of a freeing feeling to say ‘hey, I can rip this four-seam at the top of the zone with this hitter’ and should have a good result, it’s a swing and miss up there for me now. I used to be sinkers, I used to be pitch downhill and down, down in the zone, and I now I kind of got a few more weapons under my belt.”
Taillon has not played since the 2019 season, after undergoing surgery that caused him to miss the entire 2020 season. In 82 career starts, the righty owns a 29-24 record with a 3.67 ERA. He went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA and two complete games during his last full season with the Pirates in 2018.
The Yankees believe in the upside that Taillon brings to the starting rotation alongside Cole and Corey Kluber.
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