Thursday, July 31, 2014

Dorn Taylor, As Good - 373

Originally published June 21, 2012
Dorn Taylor had to wait until his sixth professional season to make the majors. Then he had to wait until his fifth start to get his first major league win.

But, on May 20, 1987, Taylor went 6.1 innings, giving up three earned runs. His Pirates went on to win 5-3.

"It's about time," Taylor told The Associated Press afterward. "This feels almost as good as it did when I first got called up."

Taylor ultimately got into 14 games for Pittsburgh that year, starting eight. While he would back to the majors in two more seasons, he would only get two more wins.

Taylor's career began in 1981, signed by the Pirates as an undrafted free agent, out of Pfeiffer College.

Taylor started play in 1982 at single-A Greenwood. He went 9-8 in 24 starts, with a 2.30 ERA. He stayed in single-A through 1984, making AA Nashua in 1985.

He then got his first look at AAA in 1986, with five starts at Hawaii. Taylor started 1987 back in the minors. But, by the end of April, he was in Pittsburgh.

Taylor appeared in 14 games for the Pirates that year, getting eight starts. He went 2-3, with a 5.74 ERA. He played out the rest of the year in the minors, amounting to just 12 outings between AA Harrisburg and AAA Vancouver. That off season, he underwent arthroscopic surgery on his elbow.

He played all of 1988 at AAA Buffalo, amounting to 22 starts. He went 10-8, with a 2.14 ERA. But he didn't return to Pittsburgh. Going into 1989, Taylor continued his success in the spring. Pirates manager Jim Leyland began to take notice.

"When does his turn come?" Leyland told The AP of Taylor, noting his success at AAA the previous year. "Sometimes we forget much of what Dorn Taylor has done."

Taylor started the year with the Pirates, but just lasted three games. In 4.2 total innings, he gave up five earned runs. Called back in September, he got into six more innings, giving up just one earned run.

In 1990, Taylor returned to Buffalo. This time, he went 14-6, with a 2.91 ERA. But he wasn't called up to Pittsburgh until September. That June, the Pirates were calling on other pitchers, but not Taylor.

"I think I deserve a chance," Taylor told The AP in June. "I have so much more confidence than I've ever had before. I think I can pitch up there."

Taylor, though, pitched in the majors just four more times, just 3.2 more innings. He gave up one earned run. He didn't return for 1991.

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