Jameson Taillon Has a New Pitch

Brad received a PSA in his chat yesterday that he then shared with us on our Slack channel regarding Jameson Taillon and his new slider:

Joey Boom Bats wasn’t lying! I mean, of course he wouldn’t lie about that. Who would lie about something that is so easily verifiable? Anyway, Taillon does in fact have a new slider and after dabbling with it a few times here and there in previous starts, he had it on full display this past Sunday against the St. Louis Cardinals.

WARNING: We’re about to go GIF-wild!

He first dabbled with a couple in his May 11th start against the San Francisco Giants, but sites couldn’t even agree that they were sliders as Brooks (and other outlets) still had them as curves while we had them as sliders. He didn’t throw any the next start… or if he did, no sites were able to classify them as such. He threw five against the Reds on May 22nd, netting a couple strikes and a flyout, but it was clearly still a work in progress. He really only got on top of two of them, resulting in the one swinging strike and another that Eugenio Suarez laid off of for a ball.

 

 

 

 

The few against the Giants and Reds were essentially dress rehearsal for Sunday’s grand opening of the pitch. He threw 30 sliders against the Cardinals with tremendous results. They went 2-for-15 (both singles) with five strikeouts. He drew seven swings-and-misses and nine chases (one of which was a lucky infield single by Marcell Ozuna). Those numbers are elite. Of course, it’s a one game sample so let’s not freak out, but it’s very promising. Taillon also threw a much harder slider than we’d seen against the Giants and Reds. He averaged around 87 mph with the seven against them, but was up to 89.7 against St. Louis, including a couple at 92-93.

Here is a sampling of the slider’s excellence v. the Cards:

 

 

 

 

 

Taillon’s new slider is a weapon against righties as of now with only six of his 37 thrown this year coming against lefties (including a couple to Matt Carpenter shown above). As Joey Boom Bats suggested, it damn well might be a plus pitch right away. There is no particular path for pitch development.

Of course, even a guy’s best pitch isn’t the same every time out so we will likely see fluctuations with Taillon’s new toy. It’s an exciting development for the 26-year old righty. He might finally have a swing-and-miss monster to go with his groundball-heavy sinker/curve combo. I’d really love to see this pitch be something he can also backfoot on lefties and start finding more success against them. He has a heavy 279-point platoon split (.847 OPS v. LHB), so while the new slider could lower his .568 OPS against righties, it might not attack his biggest weakness.





Paul is the Editor of Rotographs and contributes to ESPN's Daily Notes. Follow Paul on Twitter @sporer and on Twitch at sporer.

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tb.25
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tb.25

PSA 2.0 – so does Nick Pivetta. He added a sinker/two seamer that moves very similarly to his change and has a 24% whiff per swing rate (only 11% whiff rate on all thrown, but sinkers are designed for weaker contact anyways).