The Chicago Cubs' rotation was dealt a blow in spring training when starter Jameson Taillon suffered a back injury. He's yet to pitch in the big leagues this season, but the righty took a big step toward a potential return on Friday evening.

Taillon threw 68 pitches in 3.2 innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Iowa, giving up three hits while striking out four. It was his second rehab outing and as Maddie Lee reported, Taillon will head to Arizona to meet with the Cubs to figure out his next step:

“Per Cubs, Jameson Taillon felt great in his rehab start last night (3.2 innings, 68 pitches). He’ll meet the team in Arizona to figure out next steps.”

Great news that Taillon bounced back well and didn't feel any notable soreness. The Cubs need him back ASAP, given the other injuries in the rotation.

Cubs' rotation is not healthy

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jameson Taillon (50) delivers a pitch against the Milwaukee Brewers in the sixth inning at American Family Field.
Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

Aside from Taillon's absence, Justin Steele, who got the ball on Opening Day, exited that start early with a hamstring strain and hasn't pitched since. He's scheduled to throw a bullpen on Saturday, per Lee, but the lefty likely won't return to Chicago until May. Ben Brown has been filling in for Steele for the time being.

As for Jameson Taillon, the veteran didn't have the best debut campaign with the Cubs in 2023. He went 8-10 with a 4.84 ERA, walking 41 in 154.1 innings while striking out 140. Regardless, he is a guy who can eat up innings for Craig Counsell and has shown in the past to be effective. His most impressive season to date was in 2018 with the Pittsburgh Pirates, sporting a 3.20 ERA.

Back in early March when the injury occurred, Counsell didn't sound too concerned about the Cubs' pitching staff or Taillon missing a lot of time. Via

“Look, you never want to lose a player. You never want to even consider it,” Counsell said. “I don’t think this is a long-term absence for Jamo, so it’s not really one of those concerns. But, I think this is what’s expected. I think we’re in good shape.”

Chicago's staff isn't exactly thriving so far. Overall, they rank 23rd in the MLB with a 4.75 ERA. The rotation on its own has a 4.45 ERA. Shota Imanaga has performed well, but Kyle Hendricks is getting absolutely lit up with an ERA north of 12. Jordan Wicks isn't doing much better, compiling a 5.68 ERA.

Sure, Jameson Taillon is going to come in and be a dominant ace, but he's been around the Majors for a long time and knows what it takes to succeed at this level. The former first-round pick is currently on the 15-day IL. Taillon owns a career ERA of 4.00 across seven seasons in the show.

The Cubs are currently 7-6 and will continue a three-game set with the Seattle Mariners on Saturday evening at T-Mobile Park. They lost the opener on Friday by a score of 4-2 where Wicks allowed four runs on five hits. Chicago heads to the desert to face the Diamondbacks next, hence why Taillon will link up with them at Chase Field.