In welcome news, the Pirates have announced that right-hander Jameson Taillon will begin a rehab assignment at Double-A on Sunday, which should put him in position to return to the majors by late June. The 25-year-old Taillon underwent surgery for testicular cancer on May 8 and was cleared to resume baseball activities less than two weeks later.
More from the National League:
- Mets ownership has given no indication that manager Terry Collins is in danger of losing his job, but the skipper does have critics within the front office, reports Marc Carig of Newsday. After back-to-back playoff seasons – including a World Series berth in 2015 – injury-plagued New York has gotten off to a 20-26 start this year and Collins’ bullpen management “has left some Mets officials fuming” along the way, writes Carig. However, Collins has the full support of owner Fred Wilpon, according to Carig, and could survive the season. The 68-year-old Collins became the longest-tenured manager in Mets history last week, having taken the reins back in 2011. He’s in the final year of his contract.
- The Cubs have relegated left fielder Kyle Schwarber to a platoon role for the time being, meaning the lefty-swinger won’t face southpaws, manager Joe Maddon told reporters Friday (via Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune). “If he’s not swinging the bat well against righties, it’s a bad assumption he’s going to do well against lefties,” said Maddon, who sat Schwarber against Dodgers lefty Alex Wood on Friday. “I’m just putting him in a deeper hole by throwing him out there just based on really bad logic.” The powerful Schwarber, 24, entered the season with no shortage of hype after missing nearly all of last year with torn knee ligaments, but he has stumbled to a .183/.303/.356 line in 188 plate appearances (.147/.310/.265 in 42 tries versus lefties).
- Brewers first baseman Eric Thames has already been tested for performance-enhancing drugs at least five times this year, but the league isn’t conspiring against the slugger, writes FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. Rather, drug testing has gone up across the majors thanks to the new collective bargaining agreement, which likely explains Thames’ regular tests, posits Rosenthal. Thames was also tested “frequently” as a superstar with the Korea Baseball Organization from 2014-16, but there’s no account of a failed test there or with the Brewers, sources told Rosenthal.