Taillon to have Tommy John surgery

Right-hander Jameson Taillon has been diagnosed with an injury to the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

After seeking a second opinion that confirmed the original diagnosis and not receiving relief from his symptoms despite a period of rest, the decision was made to seek additional opinions. Based on multiple medical opinions and recommendations, Taillon has elected to have Tommy John surgery.

"The initial diagnosis was the ligament was intact," Pirates' GM Neal Huntington said. "But it was potentially compromised as he had sustained an injury to it. We went get a second opinion and also during that second opinion there was a period of rest, the symptoms did not subside. With multiple medical opinions and based on that information despite having a ligament intact, but compromised, when the ligament is ruptured it's a no brainer to have surgery, but when a ligament is compromised now it's a gray area, and as much as we all want to make medical issues black and white they are very gray. Based on all the information that Jameson was presented, he opted to have the Tommy John surgery, we fully support it."

The surgery will be performed Dr. David Altchek. A date for the surgery is still being determined. The typical recovery period from this type of surgery is 12-18 months.

Taillon, 22, was ranked the 10th best pitching prospect and 22nd best prospect in the game overall by Baseball America earlier this spring. The Pirates selected him with the second overall pick in the 2010 draft.

In 25 starts (and one relief appearance) and 147 1/3 innings last year, Taillon had a 3.73 ERA with 8.7 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9. He was slated to start the season in Triple-A and was expected to make his MLB debut at some point this summer.

"It will delay his development about 12 to 18 months," Huntington explained. "There's a very small percentage that don't come back, but when you see 25 percent of major league pitchers on opening day 2013 had Tommy John surgery, it's not the rarity it once was. It's not a bullet proof solution, but as we walked through the process with Jameson he felt that this was his best course of action to get to full health and stay healthy for a long time."

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