But while Polanco is still on track to take over right field at PNC Park sometime around midseason, Taillon’s status is more uncertain.
Taillon, the second overall pick in the 2010 MLB Draft and one of the consensus top pitching talents in baseball, has gotten two medical examinations regarding his persistent right elbow discomfort. After telling Tim Williams of PiratesProspects.com last week that the Pirates would ultimately make a decision on a course of action, the 22-year-old declined to comment further following his second opinion.
Both manager Clint Hurdle and GM Neal Huntington have told reporters the organization is still going through the process of evaluation. The company line? The Pirates will relay any relevant information to the public when their decision is final.
This sounds rather ominous on the surface, as rehabilitation would be the obvious option if there was no structural damage in Taillon’s valuable right arm. Since there is some deliberation going on, we can conclude that there’s something more than mere inflammation on the MRI results.
Or maybe that’s conjecture. It’s tough to tell with any information being heavily guarded. It could be that the Pirates have several courses of rehab to choose from, and are merely taking their time in picking the proper one.
Either way, it’s rather clear that any dreams of seeing Taillon on the mound for the Pirates will have to be deferred – at least a bit. June may not be a reasonable goal anymore, although that doesn’t mean a 2014 MLB debut is entirely out of the picture.