BRADENTON, Fla.—The minor league season got off to a rocky start with three of the organization's top four prospects on the disabled list.
Righthander Jameson Taillon, the No. 2 prospect, suffered a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow and needed Tommy John surgery. He will miss the entire season.
The Pirates had expected the 22-year-old Taillon to begin the season at Triple-A Indianapolis, then advance to the big league rotation at some point during the summer.
“It's very unfortunate for Jameson, but he's a hard worker and he'll have a good support system, both with his family and our organization," general manager Neal Huntington said. “Having the surgery is not a bulletproof solution to the problem, but it's proven that a large percentage of pitchers return from the surgery and eventually perform at their previous level."
Righthander Tyler Glasnow, the No. 3 prospect, was sidelined by lower back tightness late in the spring and did not break camp with high Class A Bradenton. Last year he went 9-3, 2.18 in 24 starts at low Class A West Virginia.
The Pirates were optimistic the 20-year-old would be ready to join the Marauders rotation by the end of April, once he builds up his pitch count.
Center fielder Austin Meadows' full-season debut with West Virginia was put on hold after he dealt with a hamstring strain through much of the spring.
The 18-year-old injured himself during a baserunning drill while in big league camp. The leg continued to bother him even after being reassigned to minor league camp, but he was expected to report to West Virginia in the near future.
“The last thing you want to do is hurt it again because then you might be out for a long time," said Meadows, the first of two Pirates' first-round picks last year. “It's usually cold in West Virginia early in the season, and it's just better to play it safe and stay in the warmth in Florida at extended (spring training)."
• Righthander Clay Holmes will miss the season after having Tommy John surgery. A ninth-round pick from Slocomb, Ala., in 2011, he signed for $1.2 milion to give up a scholarship to Auburn.
• Catcher Wyatt Mathisen, a second-round pick in 2012, began making the conversion to third base in spring training and projected to begin at West Virginia.