Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Taillon Gets the Call Pitcher to Make His Major League Debut Tonight against the Mets

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Taillon Gets the Call Pitcher to Make His Major League Debut Tonight against the Mets

Article excerpt

Jameson Taillon wasn't sure who kept calling late Monday night. He was lost somewhere in season two of "Bloodline" on Netflix when he rolled over to text his girlfriend good night. On his phone was a string of missed calls from numbers he didn't recognize.

The majors were calling.

Or, more exactly, Class AAA Indianapolis manager Dean Treanor was trying to rouse his ace right-handed pitcher to tell him his time finally had come: The Taillon timer had ticked to zero, and the former first-round draft pick was headed to Pittsburgh to join the Pirates.

"I kind of blacked out from adrenaline," Taillon said Tuesday, recalling the phone conversation.

Taillon, drafted second overall in 2010, will make his debut with the Pirates today against the New York Mets and their turbocharged right-hander Noah Syndergaard. The Pirates will delay left-hander Francisco Liriano's scheduled start, bumping it to Saturday against St. Louis.

Taillon arrived at PNC Park Tuesday afternoon during the doubleheader that precipitated his promotion and met with media in the same conference room he had been in after signing in 2010. No high school pitcher had been taken as high in the draft since Josh Beckett was second in 1999. Taillon was taken after Bryce Harper and before Manny Machado, Matt Harvey, Chris Sale and Christian Yelich.

The majors were his anticipated end point, but the route wasn't what Taillon had expected. He reached the Class AAA level in 2013 before Tommy John and hernia surgeries erased his next two seasons. But he bounced back with a 2.04 ERA in 10 starts this season for Indianapolis, with 61 strikeouts to six walks over 61 innings.

"As a young 18-year-old, I don't think this is probably the path I saw myself taking," Taillon said. "You're young and naive. But it's my journey. It's my path. It's what I've had dealt for me."

Manager Clint Hurdle said Taillon's story "speaks volumes" for prospects who hit setbacks and snags. He said Taillon truly has earned the chance to pitch tonight. …

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