The Yankees appear to be close to getting a major piece of their starting rotation back for the Wild Card push.
Right-hander Jameson Taillon (right ankle tendon injury) threw off flat ground on Friday at Yankee Stadium, and the expectation is that he will toss another bullpen session on Saturday.
Taillon previously threw a 15-pitch bullpen on Wednesday, and told YES Network’s Meredith Marakovits that his injured ankle responded well.
The 29-year-old landed on the IL on September 9 with a partial tear of a tendon in his right ankle. Although this diagnosis initially sounded serious, he has been progressing nicely and could be back before the season ends.
According to Taillon, he is hopeful that he can return to the Yankees’ rotation as early as next week if all continues to go well.
“This did nothing to make me think I can’t get back in a game soon after another bullpen,’’ Taillon told reporters following his side session on Wednesday.
This makes Saturday a crucial day for Taillon in his next bullpen session. As long as he comes out of it okay, we could potentially see him back with the big-league club shortly thereafter.
However, he will need to avoid any setbacks or else his 2021 campaign could be over. A setback would also mean potential surgery, which would cause Taillon to miss a portion of next season as well.
“We’ll see where we’re at with games and get it reimaged [after the season],’’ said Taillon, who has undergone two Tommy John surgeries in his career. “I’ve had enough surgeries. I hope this is one I can avoid.”
Taillon has had an up-and-down year in his first season in the Bronx, posting an 8-6 record with a 4.41 ERA.
He had a fantastic stretch from July to early-August, but got roughed up for the remainder of last month with a 8.20 ERA.
Taillon bounced back in his last outing against the Blue Jays on September 6, where he went seven innings, while allowing three-runs. But he woke up the next day and could barely walk, which is when he and the Yankees discovered his ankle issue.
The righty received a platelet-rich plasma injection, which has helped him feel better, leading to a fast recovery.
Beyond his next bullpen, Taillon must also go through fielding drills to make sure he is ready to return.
“There’s not too much season left, so the sooner the better for me,’’ Taillon said. “As soon as a spot lines up where we need a starter, I’d hope to slide in there.”
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