Jameson Taillon’s much-anticipated Major League debut will come tomorrow, as the Pirates announced earlier today, but GM Neal Huntington implied that the young right-hander’s promotion may be rather short-lived in nature. Via Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Twitter link), Huntington said: “This may be a spot start for Jameson. A lot of that decision will be beyond his control.” Taillon has utterly dominated Triple-A Indianapolis this season, posting a 2.04 ERA with a 61-to-6 K/BB ratio in 61 2/3 innings, spanning 10 starts. One has to imagine that innings are a concern for the Pirates when it comes to Taillon, as injuries prevented the former No. 2 overall pick from pitching in both 2014 and 2015.
Here’s the latest from the National League:
- Right-hander Justin Masterson will take Taillon’s spot on the roster at Indianapolis, tweets the team’s media communications coordinator, Ryan Sheets. Masterson sat down recently with Charlie Wilmoth of MLBTR and SB Nation’s Bucs Dugout to discuss his rehab from shoulder surgery, his decision to sign with the Pirates and the long-term talks he had with Cleveland prior to hitting the open market in the 2014-15 offseason. Masterson acknowledged that his shoulder hasn’t been in great shape for quite some time and implied that it could’ve derailed an agreement in Cleveland even if one had been reached. He also praised the Pirates organization as an appealing landing spot and added that the location of the club’s Triple-A affiliate, in Indianapolis where he makes his home, was alluring as well.
- Service time considerations played an oft-noted role in the promotional timeline of young Cubs star Kris Bryant, leading to a still-pending grievance. As Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports, though, Bryant calls the matter a thing of the past. While the actual grievance proceeding has yet to reach a hearing, with all involved seemingly waiting for the new CBA to be negotiated, Bryant says it “never even crossed [his] mind” entering the season. “For me it’s just important to continue to go out there and do what I do, so that I can help the team in any way possible in where we’re at today,” Bryant said. “It’s just important for me to not even worry about it right now because it takes away from so much of what we have going this year. And that was last year’s news.”
- Phillies manager Pete Mackanin says that he’s nearing a resolution of the team’s first-base situation, as Corey Seidman of CSNPhilly.com reports. It seems quite possible that Tommy Joseph will receive the official designation as the starting first bagger, which is essentially the way things have been trending anyway. That would put Ryan Howard in a tenuous position, though it’s not at all clear whether Philadelphia has any intentions of cutting him loose. The 24-year-old Joseph is off to a nice .311/.313/.590 start over his first 64 MLB plate appearances, while the 36-year-old Howard is mired in a .150/.210/.333 opening to the year. In years past, we’ve talked about the former star slugger as a possible trade chip who might allow the Phillies to save some cash. Now, however, it seems he’ll either finish out the season in a limited role or end up hunting for another team on the open market.
- Dodgers right-hander Brandon McCarthy will begin a minor league rehab assignment within a week, manager Dave Roberts told reporters, including Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link). McCarthy had Tommy John surgery just weeks into the first season of a four-year, $48MM contract with the Dodgers and has been rehabbing since undergoing the operation late last April. A return to health would be a nice boost to a Dodgers rotation that has been ravaged by injuries, though he’ll of course need some time to build up innings in the minors. As for another of the Dodgers’ injured starters, Hyun-jin Ryu, Roberts said the team still doesn’t know when the left-hander will appear in a game at any level. Shoulder problems have sidelined Ryu for much of the past two years.