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Rays may promote Jeremy Hellickson as a reliever

Jul 24, 2010, 8:44 PM EST

Rays fans have been pushing for the club to promote top pitching prospect Jeremy Hellickson since early May, but fifth starter Wade Davis, 24, has looked better as of late and it’s been hard for manager Joe Maddon and Co. to find a fit for the highly touted 23-year-old.  That could change in a few weeks.

According to Bill Chastain of MLB.com, the Rays may call up Hellickson and use him as a reliever as they push for a spot in the playoffs later this season.

“Out of the bullpen, that’s a possibility, and I would not be opposed to
that at all,” Maddon said Saturday.  “But eventually he’s going to be one of the starters, there
is no doubt. To get a taste, I think he could do it, and it would serve
him well, and us.”

David Price took a similar path to the majors, as did Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright.  And Hellickson may be just as talented as those current Cy Young contenders.  Through 19 starts this season at Triple-A Durham, he has posted an 11-3 record, a 2.56 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP.  He also has a 110/31 K/BB ratio in 109 innings.

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