Forced from his most recent outing after just three innings because of a cut finger of his pitching hand, the Pirates’ Jameson Taillon has been seeking advice on how to speed up the healing process to allow him to make his next start. Among the suggestions the third-year major leaguer has gotten is to apply urine to his finger, and Taillon claimed Sunday that he was “open to anything.”
“I said if it helps, I’ll put a sign-up sheet and everyone can come and pee,” Taillon said (via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review). “I don’t care. I just want it to go away.”
A native of the Houston area, Taillon noted that he grew up an Astros fan and was well aware of the urine-related habits of former MLB player Moises Alou, who played for that team for three years. Alou, a six-time all-star who batted .303 over 17 seasons, never used batting gloves and would regularly urinate on his hands as a means of avoiding blisters.
“If it helps, I would do it,” added Taillon, who was selected second overall in the 2010 draft, between the Nationals’ Bryce Harper and the Orioles’ Manny Machado. “I’m not scared, man. I just need to be out on the field.”
However, by Monday the 26-year-old righty was issuing a clarification on Twitter. “I jokingly said if peeing on it gets me on the field where I belong, I’ll put up a signup sheet,” he said. “Not my thing, promise!”
So much for the latest heir to Alou and Jorga Posada, the longtime Yankees catcher who also swore by the restorative powers of pee, at least while preparing for upcoming seasons. “You don’t want to shake my hand during spring training before practice,” Alou told reporters in 2004.
The Tribune-Review story also cited former pitcher Julian Tavarez as having made the unorthodox approach to healing his No. 1 priority. “In his one spring training with the Pirates, you would see him duck behind the wall at McKechnie [Field] so he could soak his hand,” the Trib’s Joe Rutter recalled.
More recently, during the 2016 National League Division Series between the Dodgers and Nats, Los Angeles pitcher Rich Hill said he peed on his pitching hand that season, out of frustration over persistent blisters. “You might as well try it, right?” he said. “I was desperate to do anything at that time.”
There is some science behind the practice; urine contains the chemical urea, which has been shown to soften skin and is a component of several hand creams and lotions. That still doesn’t sound like anything which would be particularly useful in healing a cut, but in a subsequent tweet Monday, Taillon showed that he continues to be at least a bit intrigued by the whole idea of peeing on his hand.
“But for real … does it work? Asking for a friend,” he said.
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