Pittsburgh News—December 15, 2014
The music blared and strobe lights flashed, and it was Jameson Taillon's turn. A young boy approached him and informed him so. Taillon was in the Swissvale Arcade Lanes, bowling with dozens of children from Mount Ararat Community Activity Center in an event on the Pirates winter caravan. But Taillon, a right-hander, joked he would bowl left-handed and granny style that day. The new ligament in his right elbow, the one that replaced the defective original, was only eight months old.
"My elbow feels great," said Taillon, the Pirates' top pitching prospect, who missed the entire 2014 season after requiring Tommy John ligament replacement surgery.
In April, Taillon joined the multitude of young, promising pitchers to required the surgery, which repairs a damaged ulnar collateral ligament in the elbow. That ligament connects the bones in the upper and lower arm, and, when it undergoes stress — which it does every time a player throws a ball — it can weaken or tear.
"[Dr. David Altchek] got in there, and he said it was kind of interesting because my body had been creating scar tissue around the ligament," Taillon said. "He said it was in worse shape than he had originally thought. My body had been protecting it, which is kind of cool, honestly, that your body can do that without you even knowing."