Reporting Jory Rand
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BRADENTON, Fla. (KDKA) — Together, they’re considered the future of the Pittsburgh Pirates: Jameson Taillon, selected second overall in the 2010 MLB Draft, and Gerrit Cole, taken first overall in 2011.
By May of next year, they could both be in the Pirates’ starting rotation.
“It’s gonna be fun, there’s no doubt about it,” Taillon told KDKA-TV Sports recently at Pirate City in Bradenton, Fla. “That’s why we’re here, that’s why we’re playing — to pair up in the rotation in the big leagues.”
The two seem to have paired up off the field as well.
“We live together,” Cole explained.
“Cause we’re best friends,” he said.
“Cause he didn’t charge me much,” Taillon jokes.
Their bond became clear during a game over pool. Taillon was in position to win, but scratched on the 8-ball.
“A win’s a win,” Cole said with a laugh. “I’m terrible at pool. Of course I’m taking it.”
“I blew it,” Taillon added. “That’s when I [should] hand the ball to my closer.”
Which segues nicely back to baseball, where Cole – who’s a year older than Taillon and about a half a year ahead in development – could make his major league debut as early as May.
“I try not to think about it, as much as I get the question,” Cole told KDKA-TV Sports. “I’m not naïve, but it just makes it more important to focus on what I’m doing day-to-day. You just try not to get caught up in it because it can consume you pretty quick.”
Taillon, meantime, may start the season back at AA-Altoona, but could quickly move up.
“[It’s about] consistency,” he says. “Going out every fifth day, not having the dips and valleys.”
“These guys are strong, they’re big, they’re hungry,” Pirates’ manager Clint Hurdle tells KDKA-TV Sports. “They’ve done well each step of the ladder up. They’ve earned their way so far; there’s more for them to earn, but as an organization, everybody feels better when you watch those guys throw. A lot was invested in them and we do believe a lot is going to come out on the baseball field. It’s gonna be a lot of Pirate fans happy.”