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Jeremy Hellickson out until May following elbow surgery

Feb 3, 2014, 11:29 AM EDT

Jeremy Hellickson AP

Rays right-hander Jeremy Hellickson is expected to miss the first 6-8 weeks of the season after undergoing arthroscopic elbow surgery.

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Hellickson had surgery last week to remove “loose bodies” from his elbow and the Rays are hoping he’ll be ready in mid-to-late May.

He struggled last season, following up his Rookie of the Year-winning 2011 campaign and similarly strong 2012 by posting an ugly 5.27 ERA and being demoted from the starting rotation, but Topkin notes that Hellickson and the Rays repeatedly insisted that he was healthy as recently as last month.

Hellickson’s injury could open the door for top prospect Jake Odorizzi to step into the Rays’ rotation full time two years after Tampa Bay acquired him from Kansas City in the James Shields trade.

  1. proudlycanadian - Feb 3, 2014 at 12:16 PM

    That news takes Price off the trade market.

    • stex52 - Feb 3, 2014 at 1:07 PM

      Perhaps. But Hellickson was awfully undependable last year. I would think any trade involving Price brings a pitcher back anyway.

    • raysfan1 - Feb 3, 2014 at 1:38 PM

      He was never likely to be traded to begin with.

  2. jwbiii - Feb 3, 2014 at 1:14 PM

    This isn’t a big blow for the Rays. They have lots of starting pitching depth. Besides Odorizzi, they also have Alex Colome and Enny Romero. All three pitched better than Hellickson last season, albeit in limited action.

  3. happytwinsfan - Feb 3, 2014 at 1:32 PM

    is there a reason why the surgery wasn’t done a couple of months ago?

    • Old Gator - Feb 3, 2014 at 1:55 PM

      Was just going to ask that myself. Loose bodies in an elbow don’t heal themselves with rest. Was he misdiagnosed? Raysfan, what’s the story on that up there by the bay?

      • raysfan1 - Feb 3, 2014 at 5:02 PM

        According to an update in the linked article, he only started having real discomfort in the past couple weeks, so no diagnosis prior to that. I don’t really know anything else.

      • vivabear - Feb 3, 2014 at 7:43 PM

        He probably only began feeling discomfort during his offseason throwing program, Old Racist. If there was no pain until then, I’m sure his elbow was never checked out by medical staff. Pitchers don’t just start throwing the first day pitchers and catchers report to spring training. Use some common sense, Old Racist.

      • Old Gator - Feb 3, 2014 at 8:05 PM

        Teddybore! I haven’t heard from you in minutes! I was afraid there for a moment that Beetlejuice had goophered you into your Barbie house.

        Anyway, never mind all the pitchers that do put orf surgery waiting and hoping things will heal or that inflammations will subside. It’s a pretty routine thing, ackcherly. You ought to make sure you don’t build your straw men near mummy’s stove.

        Raysfan – thanks. Hellickson had an uneven year last year but on those nights when the Feesh are off the tube – and I suspect that’ll be more often in coming years if the interest level in the team keeps plummeting under the dead weight of its current ownership – I always enjoy watching him pitch on the local cable feed.

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