Jameson Taillon will make his professional debut on Wednesday night with the low-A West Virginia Power. The Pirates’ top pick in 2010 – second overall – joined the team on Sunday after staying in Florida for extended spring training.
The Power are in the midst of a nine-game homestand, including five against the Hagerstown Sun, affiliates of the Nationals, and the current team of No. 1 overall pick of last year’s draft, Bryce Harper.
Speaking of Harper, the Nationals have set guidelines for the media’s interaction with their 18-year-old prospect. He will only be available after games that he factors in, and he will not be available for one-on-one interviews “at any point” while the team is in Charleston.
Now, here’s some follow-up from tonight’s win over the Nationals.
= Clint Hurdle on infielder Brandon Wood’s debut: “He looked pretty comfortable, especially the first swing he put on the ball and drove it to right center. Didn’t quite flush it but put a good swing on it. He caught the next one right on the barrel so, yeah. (Defensively) he didn’t have that many balls but the one he had, he put away. … He’s got some time to write his own story here and get back on track the way he feels he’s capable of doing and our people think he’s going and I think he’s capable of doing.”
= First baseman Steve Pearce came out of the game in the seventh inning and was replaced by Lyle Overbay, who’d been given the night off to start the game. Hurdle said it was simply a defensive switch.
= Paul Maholm has been plagued by some tough early innings said they’ll “tweak it” and see if there’s something he can do to come in and make sure the offense has a chance to put the Pirates on the board first. He blanked the Cubs in the first inning in his first start, but gave up two runs in the first inning in each of his next two starts and then in his fourth start the Florida Marlins scored two in the second inning. The Nationals scored their only two runs in the first inning tonight.
= Maholm responded well to the rain delay tonight. It was only 21 minutes, but he came back and sat the Nationals 1-2-3 in each of the next three innings with three strikeouts, two fly-outs, two line-outs and two ground-outs. Hurdle said if they’d had to wait a little longer they probably would have taken Maholm in the tunnel and had him throw an inning. “You can lose an inning as far as how deep he can go in the game,” Hurdle said. “But just to keep him working, get the blood flowing rather then sit and freeze for an hour and try to come back. There is a time we have in mind that once it gets past a certain time we’re not going to bring him back.”
= Maholm said he watched part of the Penguins game when the rain delay happened, then changed into dry clothes, threw a little in the cage then came back and watched Wood hit the double to put them ahead.