The Yankees got good results from Jameson Taillon during spring training after the right-hander came back from offseason ankle tendon surgery.
He’ll get his first start of the regular season on Monday night against the high-powered Blue Jays.
“It’s fine,’’ Taillon said after the Yankees lost to Boston, 4-3, on Sunday. “I haven’t felt it since I started throwing in spring training. I’m not nervous about it.”
At the time of the procedure, it didn’t seem likely Taillon would make it back in time for the start of the season, but Taillon said this spring that was mostly due to the rarity of the injury in pitchers and the resulting uncertainty in recovery time.
“Having that surgery, the timeline in our minds was probably gonna be close, but he’d be pretty much on time,’’ manager Aaron Boone said Sunday.
Complicating matters was the MLB lockout, which prevented the Yankees from working with Taillon for much of his recovery period and Boone said an early encouraging sign was Taillon’s own social media posts, which featured videos of him throwing bullpen sessions.
“Then he came in in a good place and ready to go,’’ Boone said. “It’s gone really smoothly. We’re excited for him to get going.”
Additionally, Boone said Luis Severino felt good on Sunday, a day after making his first start since Game 3 of the ALCS in 2019. He is scheduled to pitch again on Thursday against the Blue Jays in The Bronx.
The Yankees bullpen allowed just one run in 5 ²/₃ innings Sunday and has given up just two earned runs in a whopping 18 ²/₃ innings in the first three games. Over the past 12 innings, the bullpen has also only given up one hit.
Jose Trevino was 1-for-3 with a run scored in his first start as a Yankee on Sunday night, behind the plate with Jordan Montgomery on the mound. Like Kyle Higashioka, who caught the first two games of the season, Trevino is known as a good pitch-framer and Boone liked the fact Trevino had worked with Montgomery following his trade from Texas that sent right-hander Albert Abreu to the Rangers.
The Yankees’ other new catcher acquired this offseason, Ben Rortvedt, still had lingering discomfort from the strained oblique he arrived with when he was traded from the Twins and sidelined him all spring.
Rortvedt underwent an MRI exam to make sure the injury was gone.
“I wouldn’t say he had a setback, but he was still feeling it,’’ Boone said. “We backed him off to get it to calm down and he’s feeling good.”
Boone said Rortvedt had been shut down from swinging and that he was expected to start to do more offensively on Monday.
He’ll need to go through his own spring training in Tampa before he’s ready for the regular season and will likely end up with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre when he’s healthy.
As long as everyone is healthy, the Yankees will likely have a significant player out of the lineup. On Sunday, it was DJ LeMahieu, with Gleyber Torres at second base and Josh Donaldson at third and Giancarlo Stanton the DH.
LeMahieu pinch-hit for Trevino in the bottom of the eighth and flied to right.
Boone said he and bench coach Carlos Mendoza are planning a few days in advance to determine the best matchups.
Asked if he would use playing time as a motivating factor, the manager said, “I don’t think I’m doing that right now. I’m trying to do right by these guys.”
Rosters can have up to 16 pitchers through the end of April, but the Yankees will “probably” cut it to 15 in order to have another bench player at some point this month, Boone said.
“We’ll see,’’ Boone said.
The Yankees honored the Saint Peter’s men’s basketball team before the game following the team’s run to the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament.