Pirates: Taillon Shot in the Arm Team Needs


The Pittsburgh Pirates play the New York Mets Tuesday at PNC Park in a doubleheader after being rained out Monday night.

The Pirates rotation will finally get the shot in the arm it desperately needs. Tuesday the team announced pitching prospect Jameson Taillon will make his major league debut Wednesday against the New York Mets.  He will oppose Mets’ ace Noah Syndergaard.

Taillon debut could not come soon enough.  After having one of the best staffs in baseball over the past few seasons, the Pirates’ rotation have fallen back down to Earth hard.  Outside of Gerrit Cole, every other starter has an ERA over 4.28.

On Sunday General Manager Neal Huntington stated Taillon would remain in the minors through his next scheduled start Wednesday. Huntington cited that he did not feel 100% comfortable adding Taillon into the rotation just yet.  Luckily something changed in his thought process over the last two days.

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Despite missing all of 2014 and 2015 after undergoing Tommy John surgery, the former number two overall pick has looked more than ready for the bigs in 2016.  Taillon is 5-2 with a 2.04 ERA and 61 strikeouts.  Over 61.2 innings, he has walked 6 and batters are only hitting .196 against him.

Adding Taillon into the fold will mean either Juan Nicasio will go to the bullpen or Francisco Liriano might go on the disabled list.  Nicasio started out strong for the Pirates in Spring Training, surprisingly earning a spot in the rotation.  Now his ERA is 4.75 and he has yielded a home run in 4 of his past 5 starts.

Liriano season has been a roller coaster ride.  After a so-so start in April, he has gone completely off the rails.  Over his last five starts, the lefty has given up five or more runs in three of his last five starts including six earned in his last outing against the Angels.

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Hopefully the arrival of Taillon provides the same impact for the Pirates as Cole did in 2013.