Chicago Cubs Rumors: Breaking down Jameson Taillon

Michael Brakebill
Division Series - Cleveland Guardians v New York Yankees - Game Two
Division Series - Cleveland Guardians v New York Yankees - Game Two / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages
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By now, you're more than likely understanding that the Chicago Cubs just aren't shopping in the deep end of the starting pitching market. No, Jacob deGrom, Justin Verlander, or Carlos Rodon won't be in a Cubs uniform next season. Unfortunately, as that sounds, I think it's also important to remember that the Cubs have the means to pull off a blockbuster trade to acquire their ace, should they miss on Kodai Senga. Whether they do so or not remains to be seen. However, even if they do, they could really use another starter via free agency in the middle tier to add a nice punch at the back end of the rotation.

The Cubs have been connected to Jameson Taillon recently, and breaking down his numbers could surely at least get you excited when you think about the back end of the rotation. For one, we know the Cubs want depth. They already have Marcus Stroman, Justin Steele, Hayden Wesneski, Adrian Sampson, Kyle Hendricks, Keegan Thompson, Adbert Alzolay, and more at the Triple-A level who can start ballgames in Chicago if called upon. The Chicago pitching staff seems to be turning more into a rotation, followed by several bulk relievers/spot starters, followed by a few one-inning guys.

I understand and like the approach. With multiple bulk options, it can stop your bullpen from tiring out, which we've seen the Cubs grow accustomed to through recent seasons. But what about the rotation? Is adding Taillon as a 4 or 5 starter worth it when you have several guys that just put up extremely solid numbers in the second half of 2022? The answer is yes. You can never have too many quality arms in your organization. Let's break down Taillon a little further and understand what we're looking at here.

In 2022, Taillon recorded a slightly above league average ERA of 3.91. Not necessarily elite by any means, but he gave the Yankees 177.1 innings in the process. Essentially, when he's on, he's really on. Like in May for example where he went on a tear on 31.1 IP and only allowed 7 runs, good for a 2.01 ERA for the month. Then he'll have down months like July where he coughs up 14 earned in 25.0 IP for a 5.04 ERA for that month.

Jameson Taillon would be nice fit for the Chicago Cubs' pitching staff.

All in all, Taillon was somewhat of a reverse splits guy this season. He actually allowed a slash of .235/.292/.420 to lefty hitters while surrendering a line of .253/.276/.437 to righties. Funny enough, his ground ball rate of 44.4% to righties was actually quite higher than that of his 34.2% to lefties. Makes sense when you see a FIP of 3.73 vs. RHBs and 4.23 against lefties, suggesting he probably got a little lucky there some of the time. For his career, he does in fact allow a higher batting average to left-handed batters.

Next. 3 fallback options after losing out on Jose Abreu. dark

For what it's worth though, Taillon is no stranger to the friendly confines of Wrigley Field. He spent four years as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Over the course of his games played in Wrigley, Taillon has a career ERA of just 2.25 in 20 innings of work. What makes this number more impressive from my point of view is remembering that these seasons came at the heart of the Cubs' run from 2016-2019 when they were making the playoffs every year at a highly competitive level. Should the Cubs look to add Taillon to the rotation this winter, based on his ability to eat innings and given his track record at Wrigley Field, it starts to make sense why he's an intriguing option for Jed Hoyer and co.

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