Righthander Jameson Taillon, the Pirates’ No. 2 prospect and the No. 22 prospect overall, is going to have Tommy John surgery and will miss the 2014 season.
The second overall pick in 2010, Taillon had been shut down by the Pirates in spring training because of elbow discomfort and was being held back in Bradenton, Fla., as the team evaluated options.
According to Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reporter and Baseball America contributor Travis Sawchik, Taillon’s elbow-ligament replacement surgery will be performed by Dr. David Altchek.
In a tweet, Taillon thanked fans for well-wishes.
Thank you all for the well wishes and prayers. I’m really blessed to have so many people that genuinely care about me! Going to be stronger
— Jameson Taillon (@JTaillon19) April 6, 2014
Taillon, 22, finished last season at Triple-A Indianapolis and was expected to begin the year there before reaching Pittsburgh, likely by September.
When healthy, Taillon had two plus pitches, notably a fastball that ranged 92-96 mph with heavy sink. The 6-foot-6 righty had a 3.73 ERA and 143 strikeouts in 147 1/3 innings at Double-A Altoona and Indianapolis in 2013.
Tommy John surgery recovery time ranges from 12-18 months.
Taillon joins a long list of pitchers who’ve had or are scheduled to have TJ surgery this spring, including the Padres’ Cory Luebke, the Braves’ Brandon Beachy and Kris Medlen, the Athletics’ Jarrod Parker, the Diamondbacks’ Pat Corbin, the Tigers’ Bruce Rondon and the Dodgers’ Ross Stripling. Additionally, Cory Gearrin of the Braves appears headed for TJ surgery as well.
Three of Pittsburgh’s four top prospects—Taillon, righty Tyler Glasnow and outfielder Austin Meadows—are not active currently, though Meadows is expected to return to action as soon as this week.