Yankees notebook: Updates on Jameson Taillon, Miguel Andujar and Luis Severino

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TAMPA — Jameson Taillon is ahead of schedule.

When he tore the tendon in his right ankle, which required surgery to repair, the initial expectation was he would not be ready until May. The right-handed pitcher said Tuesday, however, that he thinks he is on track to break camp for Opening Day.

“They gave me a timeline, but this isn’t a very common pitching injury, so they kind of said work with us and I kept my arm moving the whole time. I think that helps,” Taillon said. “I  was throwing weighted balls like seated and stuff even when I was in the non-bearing weight [period of rehab]. So I felt like my build up wasn’t quite as long as I thought it’d be. And then honestly, like with the lockout, part of it was just kind of going into my own schedule at some point, and I feel like that put me in a pretty good spot.”

That would be a huge help to the Yankees. With the lockout condensing spring training, there is plenty of concern about an increase in pitching injuries, like in 2020 after the coronavirus interrupted spring training. The Yankees already have Domingo German dealing with shoulder issues and isn’t expected start the season on time.

Taillon, who was coming off his second Tommy John surgery last season, surprised even the Yankees when he made 29 starts and threw 144 innings in 2021. It was a bit of a mixed bag after he finished with a 4.30 ERA and 1.206 WHIP.

The 30-year-old, who will be a free agent after this season, said he feels stronger this spring than a year ago.

“I feel a lot healthier than I did last year. Last year, I still felt kind of rehab, I was trying to figure out my arm path and my mechanics this year. I feel a lot more natural now,” Taillon said.

ANDUJAR FOCUSED ON FIELD

Just weeks after he was beaten and robbed at gunpoint at his farm in Dominican Republic, Miguel Andujar was trying to forget the scary experience.

“Yeah, definitely a tough situation right there,” Andujar said through Yankee interpreter Marlon Abreu. “What can you say when you go through something like that, but at the same time, I’m good, I am healthy and thank God that everything worked out well.”

Andujar, who was a Rookie of the Year finalist in 2018, has struggled to find his way on the field the last few years. A shoulder injury cost him the starting third base job in 2019 and the Yankees have had him working in the outfield and at first base since. He’s never found a place to get regular at bats.

This spring, he said the Yankees asked him to move around and take reps at first, third and in the outfield. Andujar played just 45 games last season and slashed .253/.284/.383.

SEVERINO IN THE LEAD

Luis Severino threw two simulated innings of live batting practice Tuesday, facing Aaron Judge, Joey Gallo and Josh Donaldson.

Severino has pitched in just 27.2 innings since he suffered a shoulder injury in spring training 2019, which was followed by needing Tommy John surgery in 2020. Aaron Boone would not say whether there would be an innings limit on the former Cy Young candidate, but with his lack of work and history of injuries they have to find ways to manage the stress on his arm.

That will not include using him as a reliever, at least to start the season.

“I see him as a starter now,” the Yankee manager said. “Look, as the year unfolds, and you’re getting to a certain volume point and it seems like  we’re getting into an area where we might have a danger zone or whatever. We can always alter and adjust and obviously that’s something he’s done, but as of right now, no plans for that. We’re looking forward to him being in our rotation. And being a guy that we should be really excited to hand the ball to every five days.”