Like Cole last year, Pirates pitcher Taillon is work in progress
BRADENTON, Fla. — Things have moved quickly for Jameson Taillon since he signed with the Pirates as the second overall pick in the 2010 draft. Yet, the key to him reaching the majors this year could be an ability to slow things down.
Last week, Taillon reported to spring training knowing he'll likely make his big league debut sometime this year. It won't happen in April, though.
Barring a slew of injuries to the Pirates' veteran starting pitchers, Taillon will open the season at Triple-A Indianapolis. When management believes he's ready, Taillon will get the call.
It's the same situation Gerrit Cole was in a year ago. Cole was one of the final cuts from spring training camp, went back to Indy, then was called up in June.
“There's a little anxiety and anticipation,” Cole said. “You want to prove to yourself that you can go up there and do it, and everybody wants it to happen now. But you have to slow it down and take it day to day. Then by the end of the year, you're surprised by how fast it went.”
This is Taillon's second time in camp with the Pirates. He was among the first group of players sent to minor league camp last year, but management wants to take a longer look at him this spring.
“He's got the stuff to pitch in the big leagues right now,” general manager Neal Huntington said. “But there are still lessons the game teaches. He went through some of them last year at Triple-A. It will be good to see him again in major league spring training and give him the ball a little bit more. We've still got some work to do to refine and put him in a position to come up.”
The top items on Taillon's checklist are gaining consistency with his breaking ball, repeating his delivery out of the stretch and controlling the running game.
“If he's going to pick a little to first base, it can't take away from the quality of the pitch,” pitching coach Ray Searage said. “You've got to be confident that you can hold the ball, hold that runner at first base and you also can locate that pitch — throw it for a strike in a certain count, do what you want with it.”
That's the same list of tasks the Pirates gave to Cole last year. It also was a teaching moment for Taillon, who shares an apartment with Cole in spring training.
“I watched what Gerrit did last year, and I listened to what he said,” Taillon said. “There was no doubt he knew he was getting close. He kept his head down, tried not worry about it and stayed on that narrow path. That's what I'm trying to do.”
A dogged competitor, Cole was visibly agitated the day he was sent back to minor league camp. He chuckled when asked how Taillon might handle his reassignment this year.
“He's probably a little more level-headed than I am,” Cole said with a grin. “But he's taking the same approach I did last year: He's here for a reason, and as long as he's in camp, he's got a shot to make the team. He's got to take care of business, and he's off to a good start.”
Note: Third baseman Pedro Alvarez reported to Pirates camp Sunday. The first full-squad workout is Tuesday morning.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pitcher Cole improves record to 8-2 as Pirates edge past Giants
- Left-on-left matchups a worsening problem for Pirates’ Polanco
- Pirates notebook: Locke to make next start
- McCutchen’s kindness resonates in viral video of fan-friendly gesture
- Morton’s return to rotation shot in the arm for Pirates
- Gameday: Pirates at Giants, June 2, 2015
- Biertempfel: MLB Network’s latest studio addition honors Pirates great
- Pirates notebook: Struggling Polanco held out of starting lineup
- Gameday: Pirates vs. Padres, May 31, 2015
- Pirates notebook: Morton’s return to Pirates means Liz leaves
- Pirates win 5th straight as offense continues to click in win over Marlins