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Rays send Jeremy Hellickson back to minors after impressive debut victory

Aug 3, 2010, 10:42 AM EDT

Stud prospect Jeremy Hellickson was called up from the minors to make his big-league debut last night, pitched the Rays into a first-place tie by beating the Twins with seven strong innings, and was optioned right back to Triple-A minutes after the win.
He’ll be back, of course, but it underscores just how much young talent the Rays have that they could take a one-night look at Hellickson and then let him return to Durham after an extremely strong performance against another contending team.
Now, in fairness Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, and Orlando Hudson were all absent from Minnesota’s lineup because of injuries, but Hellickson’s seven innings of two-run ball were still plenty impressive. He allowed just three hits and two walks while striking out six, flashing a potentially dominant changeup in addition to a low-90s fastball and good curveball.
Hellickson ranked 18th on Baseball America‘s list of the game’s top prospects coming into the season and upped his stock even further by going 12-3 with a 2.45 ERA and 123/35 K/BB ratio in 117.2 innings at Triple-A. He’s the real deal and many teams would have had him in the rotation months ago, but the Rays lead the league in ERA and have a rotation full of 28-and-under starters, so for now the 23-year-old Hellickson will have to wait his turn back at Durham.

  1. Old Gator - Aug 3, 2010 at 11:48 AM

    What with the Feesh home prepping for tonight’s showdown against Team Horsemeat and Velveeta, it was nice to watch a designatedhitterball game – not a lot of thinking needed, not many choices to make, no incipient pathos. Hellickson was a babyfaced wonder out there. He looks about sixteen, except when he bears down and regards the batter, in which case he was all business and not a trace of the deer in the headlights. That’s a really sharp curveball and changeup that kid has, about which a couple of his Rays’ teammates were commenting after the game with no effort to hid their admiration.
    .
    In a postgame interview, Dan Wheeler remarked that pitches were slower in the Tropicana Dump and that out in the fresh air and moonlight he figured Hellickson’s fastball would be in the mid-90s rather than the low. Interesting. First time I’ve ever heard a ballplayer claim that ambient mold spores could cause that much drag.

  2. RedLeg15 - Aug 3, 2010 at 8:25 PM

    OLD gator, You got your team first and a new stadium first.
    Have you ever been to the Trop? I did sweat my ass off at what ever your current stadium is now called. If I had between either of our current stadiums. I’m taking 72degrees and no chance of a rain delay.

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