Jameson Taillon Headed to the Injured List, Javier Assad Coming Up

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Jameson Taillon Headed to the Injured List, Javier Assad Coming Up

Chicago Cubs

I have two reactions to this news. The first is just a guttural scream of anger and sadness. The second is some version of, “Welp, these things happen …. “

Today, the Chicago Cubs placed starter Jameson Taillon on the Injured List with a “mild to moderate” groin strain. Javier Assad is coming back up from Triple-A Iowa to take Taillon’s spot on the roster and, for tonight, his spot in the rotation.

Taillon, one of the Cubs’ big free agent signings this offseason, was off to a mostly great start with the Cubs, getting better with each outing. The timing of this injury, in that regard, really sucks. Hopefully the fact that it’s not his arm will provide some comfort, but a groin strain in this range of severity could keep him out for quite a while. I don’t want to make predictions, but we’ve seen groin strains be an issue for some guys in the month+ range. Here’s hoping that won’t be the case here. Sigh.

As for Assad, 25, he got in just one short (2.2 innings) start at Iowa in the process of stretching back out before his services were needed. I would not expect him to go more than 50 or 60 pitches tonight, tops, so you can bank on Adbert Alzolay playing a heavy role. Too bad Keegan Thompson pitched yesterday.

Assad could give the Cubs a few good innings, though. No, he didn’t look like his best self in the regular season, but he was riding high coming off the World Baseball Classic, where he was excellent. The Cubs used that, and his spring performance, to justify an opening day bullpen spot for Assad. It didn’t quite work out, plus the Cubs wound up needing to maneuver some guys around in advance of Brandon Hughes’ return. I also suspect they knew they were going to need starting depth (Adrian Sampson started out rough at Iowa and has since hit the injured list, and Caleb Kilian is only just starting to turn the corner (maybe)).

This will be the first test for the Cubs’ pitching depth (starting, yes, but also the bullpen, since it might get a little more used up in the coming weeks, and the Cubs might have to cycle a few guys through). I really like Assad as a depth guy, even though he’s probably not going to match Taillon’s ability.

Best of luck tonight for Assad, and here’s hoping the prognosis on Taillon isn’t terrible. More on that soon, I expect.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.