Cubs, Jameson Taillon going 'back to the drawing board' as woes continue

Chicago Cubs v Houston Astros
Chicago Cubs v Houston Astros / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

When the Chicago Cubs brought Jameson Taillon into the fold via a four-year, $68 million deal this winter, it's safe to say an 8.10 ERA seven starts in isn't what they envisioned.

Despite being mid-May in year one of the contract, Taillon is already drawing comparisons to two former Cubs free agent swings-and-misses in Tyler Chatwood and Edwin Jackson. It's way too soon to start talking like that, but the fact remains Taillon has been a disaster to this point - and he knows it.

"Being on a new team in a new place, you want to prove that I deserve to be here and I’m a good player. So far, I haven’t had the opportunity to show that. It’s a pretty crappy feeling.

Jameson Taillon, via

On Saturday, Taillon was tagged for six runs before he had a chance to walk off the mound for the first time, courtesy of a grand slam from former Cub Kyle Schwarber and a two-run shot from Kody Clemens. He lasted just 2 1/3 innings, allowing six earned runs (eight total), on six hits and a trio of walks.

He claims he's healthy and the groin injury that sent him to the IL earlier this year is a non-issue, which may be even more concerning if you're the Cubs. After making 31 starts and racking up nearly 180 innings with the Yankees last year, Taillon has mustered only 26 2/3 frames through seven outings (less than four innings per start) - and it's only added to the workload shouldered by a shaky Chicago pen.

Cubs: Is a change in pitch mix to blame for Jameson Taillon's woes?

Taillon and the Cubs have definitely altered how he utilizes his arsenal, relying more on his cutter and sinker as opposed to the four-seamer/slider combo he leaned on last season in New York. He's got five-plus pitches in his toolbox, but the percentages have changed and it's worth keeping an eye on whether or not that remains the case heading into his next start.

Opponents have lit up that cutter to the tune of a .389 average and .611 slugging percentage; when he's managed to get guys to chase, they've been remarkably productive against Taillon, with chase contact rate that's a full 15 percent above the league average and easily the highest mark of his career.

His velocity is also down almost across the board, but given how analytically minded he is, you'd worry less and likely trust him to make adjustments accordingly. So far, though, any adjustments have been ineffective and since returning from the IL, he has an ERA north of 12.00, an opponent OPS over 1.000 and has totaled just 12 2/3 innings.

Next. Marcus Stroman wants to be a Cub for the rest of his life. dark

Seven starts, no matter how bad, are not enough to issue judgment on a four-year contract. But it's an inauspicious start for Jameson Taillon and his lack of effectiveness has left a gaping hole in the middle of the Cubs rotation at a time when their margin for error is growing smaller by the day.