Jameson Taillon is not a doctor, but he plays one on Twitter when Major League Baseball imposes a lockout.
The Yankees starter immediately felt the impact of baseball’s latest work stoppage, which bars players from accessing team facilities. For Taillon, that means he can’t have contact with New York’s medical department while he recovers from surgery to repair a tendon in his right ankle.
“Since MLB chose to lock us out, I’m not able to work with our amazing team physical therapists, who have been leading my post-surgery care/progression,” Taillon tweeted before cracking a joke. “Now that I’m in charge of my own PT, what should my first order of business be? I’m thinking I’m done with this boot. It can go.”
MLB and its owners did not have to force a lockout, which also pauses big league transactions, when the last collective bargaining agreement expired late Wednesday night. The league and the players union could have continued with the offseason while negotiating, but commissioner Rob Manfred reasoned that “people need pressure sometimes to get to an agreement” during a Thursday press conference.
The hope all around is that a new CBA will be reached well in advance of the 2022 season. Having the previous CBA expire on Dec. 1 leaves some breathing room, though the lockout has not been well-received by a union and members that have publicly been at odds with the league for years.
Starting the new campaign on time will be unlikely if the lockout carries into February.
As for Taillon, Yankees GM Brian Cashman previously said that the righty would require about five months of recovery. That means that he could miss a good chunk, if not all, of spring training. That timeline, of course, was based on spring training starting on time.
The 29-year-old went through peaks and valleys in 2021 after pitching in just seven games between 2019 and 2020 due to his second Tommy John procedure. Taillon recorded a 5.74 ERA in his first 12 starts before tallying a 2.57 mark over his next 12. He then surrendered 11 earned runs in his last two August starts before finishing the year with four earned over his last three appearances. That included an extended opener appearance on the season’s final day when the Yankees clinched a wild card spot with a 1-0, extra-inning win over the Rays.
Taillon twirled 3.1 scoreless innings on his injured ankle that afternoon.
He finished the season with an 8-6 record and 4.30 ERA over 144.1 innings and 29 starts. Taillon is one of many arbitration-eligible Yankees this offseason and is projected to earn $4.7 million, per MLB Trade Rumors.
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