Pittsburgh Pirates right-handed pitcher Jameson Taillon is set to make a rehab start on Sunday with the team’s Double-A affiliate in Altoona. Taillon underwent treatment for suspected testicular cancer earlier this month. Players are allowed to stay on rehab assignments for no more than 30 days, which means the Pirates could see Taillon re-join the main roster at some point in the month of June if all goes well.
Taillon has made six starts during the 2017 season for Pittsburgh, posting a 2-1 record with a 3.31 ERA. He opened the season with a string of three consecutive quality starts, before rolling out three consecutive starts that fell short of that threshold. His last start came on May 3 against the Cincinnati Reds, when he earned his first loss of the season.
Long-heralded as one of the top prospects in all of baseball, Taillon was first recognized prior to the 2011 season, when he had not yet thrown a pitch as a professional. The Pirates took him second overall in the 2010 MLB Amateur Draft out of The Woodlands, Texas, and he immediately became the No. 8 prospect in the game according to Baseball Prospectus.
He would hit speed bumps along the way, which included Tommy John Surgery in 2014 and hernia surgery in 2015. He would not throw a pitch in a game either season, before quickly dominating in his return at Triple-A in 2016.
Taillon made his major league debut last season and started 18 games for Pittsburgh down the stretch. He went 5-4 with a 3.38 ERA and had earned himself a spot in the team’s starting rotation to open 2017.