Jameson Taillon pitches three scoreless innings and records six strikeouts in his first rehab start after cancer surgery.

Jameson Taillon is one of the more highly regarded pitching prospects in baseball. A first-round pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2010, Taillon made his big league debut in 2016. He lived up to expectations as he finished the season with a 3.38 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 85 strikeouts over 104 innings.

Big things were expected from him again this year as he began the season in the starting rotation. He was off to a solid start, going 2-1 with a 3.31 ERA and 1.33 WHIP over his first six starts. However, his future in baseball was not nearly as important anymore when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer earlier this month.

With his health obviously more important after the surgery, it was unclear when he would return to the mound.

Amazingly, Taillon made his first rehab start already when he pitched for Class AA Altoona Sunday. Not only did he return, but he did so in style as he pitched three scoreless innings while recording six strikeouts. He only allowed one hit and one walk in the outing.

“It was therapeutic,” Taillon said to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “The pitching mound — not to sound corny — is where I feel most comfortable. That’s where I spend a lot of my time. That’s my job.”

While it’s unclear when Taillon will be able to return to the Pirates, the fact he is pitching already would seem to indicate that not only will he return this season, but he might actually return soon.

“It’s not a major surgery,” Taillon noted. “They didn’t cut through any muscle. I feel good.”

Taillon’s determination and positive mindset toward his recovery is certainly an inspiration. Don’t be surprised to see him dominating hitters in the big leagues in the near future.

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