Did the Chicago Cubs just hint at another Jameson Taillon injury?

The right-hander was lined up to start this weekend against Pittsburgh but is strangely absent from the team's projected starters.
Chicago Cubs v New York Mets
Chicago Cubs v New York Mets / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

It could have been a homecoming of sorts for Jameson Taillon when the Chicago Cubs match up with the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Perhaps it still will be with Sunday's starting pitcher listed as 'TBD' - but Taillon's absence in Craig Counsell's projected starters for the weekend is setting off alarms with fans.

The Cubs will send right-hander Javier Assad to the mound in the opener on Friday night, followed by Justin Steele opposite Paul Skenes, who is making his highly-anticipated MLB debut on Saturday. But the plan for Sunday is not yet clear, raising concern that Taillon, who started his season late due to injury, could be shelved again.

Taillon, who was drafted by the Pirates with the second overall pick back in 2010, spent more than a decade with the organization before being traded to the Yankees in 2021. He signed with the Cubs via free agency ahead of the 2023 campaign and after a rocky start to his North Side tenure, settled in down the stretch last summer and got off to a hot start this year.

Jameson Taillon has pitched like an ace for the Cubs in the early going

In his first four starts, the veteran right-hander has looked the part of a former first-rounder, working to a 1.13 ERA and 0.875 WHIP across 24 innings of work. As the Cubs try to finally get healthy after injuries decimated both the lineup and pitching staff in April, another loss of Taillon would do the team no favors.

Keep in mind: the Cubs go from Pittsburgh to Atlanta to take on the always-powerful Braves and a potential Taillon injury could really hurt there. That's a lineup that knows how to put up runs in a hurry, and you'd like to have your key veterans available (of course, assuming he doesn't start this weekend against the Pirates).

For now, we'll just have to wait for an update and keep an eye on things. Fingers crossed, we should get an update before the series opener in Pittsburgh on Friday night.