Yankees' injury news on Jameson Taillon, Zack Britton is not good
The Yankees received two doses of bad news Thursday when it came to their pitching staff — one that impacts them this season and one that will impact them in 2022.
The club placed righthander Jameson Taillon, who carried the rotation much of the summer, on the injured list Thursday with a partial tear of a tendon in his right ankle, Aaron Boone said.
Boone also disclosed that Zack Britton, declared out for the season a couple of weeks ago when it was determined the lefty reliever needed to undergo surgery to remove a bone chip in his elbow, could miss all of next season as well after the procedure ended up "essentially" being Tommy John surgery.
Britton, who had the surgery Wednesday in Los Angeles, said during the Yankees’ recent trip to the West Coast that his hope was that orthopedic specialist Dr. Neal ElAttrache would only need to remove the bone chip and not have to do anything with his ulnar collateral ligament. ElAttrache, however, determined the UCL needed to be reconstructed.
The timetable for pitchers undergoing that kind of surgery generally is in the range of 12 to 18 months. The 33-year-old Britton — 0-1 with a 5.89 ERA in 22 games this season, one in which he had three separate stints on the IL — has one year remaining on his contract.
Taillon, 8-6 with a 4.41 ERA in 27 starts this season, obviously won’t take his next turn in the rotation — which would have been Sunday against the Mets — but Boone said it was too soon to say if the righthander’s season is in jeopardy.
"It sounds worse than it is," Boone said of the diagnosis.
Boone said Taillon, 6-0 with a 2.11 ERA in a 10-start stretch from June 18-Aug. 9 before going 1-2 with a 7.01 ERA over his last five starts, was in a walking boot Wednesday and Thursday, something he hoped to be able to shed by Friday.
Taillon first started feeling discomfort in the ankle in the latter part of his start Monday against the Blue Jays, when he allowed three runs and three hits in seven innings.
"I think there’s a chance he only misses one [start], but it could be something that drags on," Boone said. "We just have to see how he responds."
In the meantime, rookie Luis Gil will start Sunday at Citi Field. Righty Mike King, on the IL since July 5 with a right middle finger contusion, is expected to be activated before Friday’s game against the Mets, Boone said. He's another rotation possibility and, at the very least, an arm that can fill multiple roles in the bullpen.
Additionally, ace Gerrit Cole, who left Tuesday’s start with tightness in his left hamstring, played catch in the outfield before Thursday night’s game and "potentially" could slot back into the rotation Monday or Tuesday, Boone said.