Jameson Taillon threw a bullpen session yesterday, which I outlined in the daily recap. Taillon is still in “rehab mode” as Clint Hurdle put it, which means he is still only throwing bullpen sessions on Tuesday and Friday, and still only at 25 pitches per session.
One positive sign yesterday was that Taillon was using his curveball and changeup in the bullpen. This was the first time he used the curveball in the bullpen during his rehab process, and he said the feel for the pitch was good. The video below shows a few of the curveballs he threw, and there are definitely some command issues, as you can see with the first curve toward the end of the video. When you consider that he hasn’t thrown a curve off the mound in almost a year, it puts things in perspective, and shows that he’s doing well, especially when he can break off a pitch like the second curve shown (which came immediately after the first one, just as it does in the video).
Taillon said that he’s feeling strong. His pitch count is still at 25, and should be at 25 on Friday. He might move up to 30 pitches next week. As for when he could progress to live batting practice, he said that he’s not sure of the exact date, but that it could happen in a few weeks. Before that happens, he will probably need about 3-4 more bullpen sessions where he’s throwing all of his pitches, and he will need to up his pitch count. His normal pitch count in a bullpen, when healthy, is 35-40 pitches.
Since he’s only throwing twice a week, the 3-4 more bullpen sessions would put him at least another week and a half without live batting practice. If he needs to up his pitch count before live BP, then you can expect at least another week after that. That means he probably won’t be throwing live batting practice until the middle of March.
I’ve been reporting for two months that Taillon will take it slow in his rehab, and will start the season in extended Spring Training. I wouldn’t expect him to see much action this Spring, with most of his work limited to live BPs. At most, he will see a game in minor league camp, where his pitch count can be controlled to the extreme. Minor league camp games are informal, allowing an inning to finish early if a pitcher reaches his pitch count, and then allowing that pitcher to go back out the next inning, despite not getting three outs in the previous inning. That’s the perfect situation for Taillon to be re-introduced to games.
Below is a video of my discussion with Taillon this morning about his rehab process, along with a few clips of him throwing his bullpen session yesterday.