New Yankee Jameson Taillon will look to keep the rotation booming: Sherman


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It’s five games. It’s five games in which Gerrit Cole has started twice. It’s five games, the last two against the Orioles, whose sole reason for existing might be to rebuild the Yankees’ confidence and record.

But have you noticed that in five games the Yankees’ throws have been brilliant?

The Yankees pitchers would have a 25 scoreless streak reading that sentence if they had a shortstop. But they have Gleyber Torres, who casually leads the majors defensively. He indifferently turned what should have been the final of the match, a routine grounder, into a Ryan Mountcastle “single” in the infield. Rio Ruiz followed with a two-run homerun against Lucas Luetge and rather than beat the Orioles 7-0 for a second straight game, the Yankees won 7-2.

Still, even with the two gifted points, the Yankees’ ERA across five games is 1.76. The batting average against is .190. Almost every pitching player besides Domingo German performed well and on Tuesday night Cole was as good as he could be which means better than any other starters on the planet not named Jacob deGrom.

“Everything was working for him,” said Kyle Higashioka.

Cole struck out 13 in seven shutout innings as the Yanks beat the Orioles for the 12th consecutive time in the Bronx and for the 26th time in the last 30 total games. The right-hander was precise and overwhelming with his fastball, going over by triple digits. His cursor was a punch. And his growing confidence and use of his change provided more weapons, especially against left-handed hitters.

Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon
Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon
NY Post: Charles Wenzelberg; Getty Images

Yet the question for the 2021 Yankees was never going to be that of the ace. The worry was the rest of the rotation and a paddock that started the year with Zack Britton and Justin Wilson injured. But across five games – again just five games – the staff haven’t allowed more than three points in a game.

“I think we have good pitchers, first and foremost,” said Aaron Boone. “I felt that at the start of spring training. I felt our 13-20 competing for the bottom spots on a list was definitely as deep as since I’ve been here. I feel like all of our guys had good springs and built themselves well. And I have the impression that in all areas, they are launching well.

One spring inspiration was Jameson Taillon, currently the only member of the 26-man Yankee opening roster not to play. That changes on Wednesday when the 29-year-old takes the ball in a game that counts for the first time in 707 days; for the first time since his second Tommy John surgery.

Much of this Yankees season is about what non-Cole newbies have to offer, especially the quartet that have barely pitched for the past two years: Taillon, German, Corey Kluber and ultimately, Yankees prospect, Luis Severino. Boone called it, “The million dollar question in Major League Baseball this year. Who can stay healthy and endure after a shortened or absent workload in the 2020 pandemic 60-game season. For the Yanks, the mystery deepens due to the lack of innings for two years for so many. key launchers.

The mystery for Taillon goes a little further: is there still a substantial career for him? Once good enough to be the second pick in the 2010 draft, Taillon dreamed of racking up 100 WAR (10 pitchers already) and winning 20 games 15 years in a row. But he had surgery on Tommy John, then testicular cancer, then a second operation on Tommy John.

The latter came after the Pirates traded their ace after the 2018 season. It was Cole. It would be Taillon’s turn to be No. 1 in 2019. But he only made seven starts. He tried to avoid the second surgery, knowing the chances of coming back from a repeat procedure. He called it the “lowest point” of his career.

Which brings more resonance and meaning to what is happening on Wednesday.

“More than anything I think this is going to sound cheesy, I’m excited to be part of the Yankees and get to the Yankee Stadium mound and get down to business,” Taillon said. “I am ready to put rehabilitation in the past. I’m ready to contribute to this team, compete and take the ball every five days. “

What he wants to be these days is Charlie Morton. Taillon participated in spring training with Morton when the two were pirates and Morton was still frustrated with injuries and unfulfilled talents. But for the past five years, starting with his 33-year-old season, Morton has been an elite starter, learning to better prepare his body and use his things. At 29, Taillon said: “I feel like there is a lot in front of me.”

A hundred WARS may have disappeared. But Taillon will try to keep up the good vibes of the Yankees and take the first step back to prove that a substantial career is still possible.

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