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Pirates

Jameson Taillon will do anything, literally, to help heal his finger

Jerry DiPaola
| Sunday, May 13, 2018, 12:18 p.m.
Pirates pitcher Jameson Taillon talks with Trevor Williams in the dugout during a game against the Giants Saturday, May 12, 2018, at PNC Park.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates pitcher Jameson Taillon talks with Trevor Williams in the dugout during a game against the Giants Saturday, May 12, 2018, at PNC Park.

Pirates pitcher Jameson Taillon is so determined to make his next start he'll try anything to heal the cut on the middle finger of his pitching hand.

And when he says anything, he means it.

Chief among the many suggestions he's received from well-meaning friends and fans is this one that he hasn't tried, but is considering: peeing on his finger.

“I said if it helps, I'll put a sign-up sheet and everyone can come and pee,” he said Sunday, two days after the injury forced him to leave the game three innings into it.

“I don't care. I just want it to go away.”

Taillon (2-3) is scheduled to pitch Wednesday in a day game against the Chicago White Sox at PNC Park.

Taillon said he wouldn't be the first to go to that particular extreme when injured. He grew up a Houston Astros fan, and outfielder Moises Alou was infamous for doing it.

Tribune-Review staff writer Joe Rutter, who covered the Pirates for 13 years, said pitcher Julian Tavarez did it during spring training in 2003.

“Julian Tavarez was notorious for that,” Rutter said. “In his one spring training with the Pirates, you would see him duck behind the wall at McKechnie (Field) so he could soak his hand.”

Taillon is similarly brave.

“If it helps, I would do it,” he said. “I'm not scared, man. I just need to be out on the field.”

He's also received more conventional suggestions, including soaking the finger in acidic fruits and rubbing Vitamin E lotion on it.

“I‘m open to anything,” he said.

Before he does anything dramatic, however, he planned to play catch before Sunday's game against the San Francisco Giants to determine how the injury might react to stress. He's also using a silver nitrate sleeve to accelerate the hardening process.

The use of surgical cement is out, however, because it would test the rules of the game.

“You're not really allowed to have much on it when you throw,” he said.

“It's not a blister, so that's positive. When I put my finger on the ball, it's not resting on there which is positive.

“We're trying to stop the bleeding and get it to harden up as quickly as you can.

“If your readers, anybody, has suggestions,” he said, “send them my way.”

The Pirates still list Taillon as the starter Wednesday, but general manager Neal Huntington said, “We'd rather err on the side of conservatism and have him miss one start than risk missing a couple because it doesn't heal properly.”

Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at jdipaola@tribweb.com or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.

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