BALTIMORE — When Jameson Taillon woke up the morning after his most recent start — Sept. 7 against the Blue Jays — the righthander feared his season might be over.
"Yeah," Taillon said. "I had a hard time walking."
How things have changed.
Taillon, on the injured list with a slight tear in a tendon in his right ankle, spoke Wednesday afternoon at Camden Yards after throwing off a mound for the first time since that start. He very much believes he’ll be back in the rotation sooner rather than later.
"The fact that I’m off the mound [less than] 10 days later, I’m pretty fired up about it," he said.
Taillon, 8-6 with a 4.41 ERA in 27 starts, including 7-2 with 3.59 ERA in his last 15 outings, said he didn’t feel anything at all during a 16-pitch bullpen session in which he threw his fastball, curveball, slider and changeup.
"I didn’t feel it at all," Taillon said. "I’m encouraged."
He'll meet with Yankees staff and medical personnel to determine the next step.
"There’s not too much season left, so the sooner the better for me," said Taillon, adding that the last hurdle he needs to clear is coming off the mound to field his position. "I’m going to make sure that’s communicated when I talk to them. So as soon as a spot lines up where they might need a starter, I’m hoping to slot in there."
Honoring Roberto Clemente
Kyle Higashioka, the Yankees' nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award — "the annual recognition of a Major League player who best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field," according to MLB — wore No. 21 Wednesday night as the sport celebrated Roberto Clemente Day, which will be held on Sept. 15 in perpetuity. Anthony Rizzo, the Cubs’ nominee acquired by the Yankees before the trade deadline, also wore No. 21, Clemente’s number with the Pirates, as did Giancarlo Stanton, who is of Puerto Rican descent.