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BRADENTON (KDKA) — Spring Training is in full swing and Pirates pitcher Jameson Taillon is ready to lead the team into the 2019 season.

He will be a leader both on and off the field, as the team’s ace will also be the Pirates representative for the MLB Players Association.

Taillon believes that the Bucs’ pitching staff is as capable as ever to have a great season.

“Good pitching beats good hitting,” Taillon said. “It’s cliche, but if you are the best hitter in the league you are going three for ten, you know 33 for 100 maybe so that right there, I mean good pitching is going to beat that more times than not. The name on the back of the jersey, you can have these superstars but I’ll take our pitching staff up against any lineup.

Along with Taillon, Chris Archer returns from late-season injuries as the projected number two, with Trevor Williams, Joe Musgrove pegged as definite starters. The question remains who the number five pitcher in the rotation will be. A plethora of names could fill the spot, including Nick Kingham, Steven Brault, Chad Kuhl, newcomer Jordan Lyles and non-roster invitee Francisco Liriano.

Taillon explains that he is pretty comfortable with being the ace of the group coming into Spring Training.

“Not really, I mean once you are in the clubhouse and you are with the guys I don’t really feel the pressure.”

“Pirates Spring Training in Bradenton. I have #buccofever and I think it’s contagious. Jameson Taillon has some thoughts about free agency and upcoming CBA… also Update from Day 2 at camp. It was 78 today by the way.”

As for the issues with free agency, Taillon is very aware that changes need to be made at the next collective bargaining agreement in the coming years.

“It’s no secret that the free agent market is not really going down the way players want it to go down so I don’t know if it is one thing contributing to it, but the system is kinda in a weird place right now, there is some tension, we have some time before the next CBA, but players are talking. If veterans and free agents aren’t making the money, I would like to see the younger players get compensated for their work.”

The next CBA is roughly two years away, so no quick solutions can be made to help the multitude of players who are without contracts this season. It will be up to Taillon and the other player representatives to come up with a plan to stimulate the markets once again in the coming years.