Monday, April 30, 2012

Jameson Taillon's Potential Workload

Yesterday Jameson Taillon pitched his 4th consecutive strong start of the season.  For the season, the 2010 1st round draft pick (2nd overall) has pitched 24.2 innings, giving up 15 hits, only 4 walks, and 28 strikeouts.  He has a 1.46 ERA to go with these stats and has not given up a home run in any of his 5 starts.

Many folks are starting to ask when he will get promoted to Double A Altoona.  Last year was Taillon's first year of full season ball and the Pirates carefully monitored his pitch counts and innings total.  This resulted in Taillon only throwing 92.2 innings.  According to Saint Tom Verducci, Patron Saint of Arm Injury Prevention, the ideal workload increase from year to year for arms under age 23 is no more than 30 innings per year.  This would put Taillon at 122 innings this year, but I'm thinking the Pirates allow for some extra innings in 2011 based on pitches thrown during extended Spring Training before Taillon got to West Virginia.

I'm thinking that 135 innings is probably where Taillon would end up.  Averaging 5 innings per start, that would be 27 starts.  Allowing for 5 days between starts and the mid-season FSL All-Star Break, that would put his final start on August 20th, approximately 2 weeks before the end of the season.

At the outset of the year, I figured that Taillon would spend the majority of the year in High A and maybe only get a taste of AA if everything went well.  Taillon's fastball is sitting mid 90's and his curveball is still fantastic.  With Taillon, this year was all about the refinement of his average-at-best changeup.  It seems as if the changeup work is progressing nicely.

There is a chance that both Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon will be moving up to Altoona within a very short time frame of each other, perhaps late May or early June.

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