Jameson Taillon delivers just what the Cubs asked for in dazzling season debut

The veteran right-hander returned from a start-of-season IL stint and silenced the Marlins' bats.
Miami Marlins v Chicago Cubs
Miami Marlins v Chicago Cubs / Quinn Harris/GettyImages

The Chicago Cubs have weathered the storm early on with a depleted starting rotation and if the results from Jameson Taillon's first start of the season are any indication, the club could be turning the corner as April winds down.

Taillon made his anticipated 2024 debut on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field in the season opener against the Marlins and was sharp from the get-go, tossing 5 innings of one-run ball and getting ahead of 17 of the 18 hitters he faced with a first-pitch strike. He appeared to have a great feel for all his pitches and, really, the Cubs couldn't have asked for more from the right-hander.

The lone blemish? A solo home run off the bat of Bryan De La Cruz in the top of the fourth that caught everyone off guard when it got out - and with good reason.

Cubs got everything they hoped for and more in Jameson Taillon's return

Even with that long ball allowed, Taillon and the Cubs have to feel great about his debut - and what it means for the pitching staff moving forward. Initially slated to go four, he was so efficient that he pitched an extra frame, saving the bullpen for Saturday's double-header. Craig Counsell is yet to unveil how the rotation will shake out long-term, but with Taillon back, it feels more stable no matter what path forward he chooses.

Last season, as we all know by now, it was a tale of two halves for Taillon in his first year with Chicago. A horrendous first half left a bitter taste in the mouths of fans looking for the former first-rounder to be his usual reliable self, and the team's September collapse overshadowed how strong he finished the campaign.

For the Cubs to compete, they need Taillon as a reliable member of this pitching staff - especially given the fact he's under team control for two more seasons after 2024. One start doesn't erase the concerns that his inconsistency last year raised, but it was a very positive first impression for him in his return to the mound.