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Rays clear room for Jeremy Hellickson’s return by shifting Erik Bedard to the bullpen

Jul 7, 2014, 12:48 PM EDT

Jeremy Hellickson Getty Getty Images

After posting a 4.95 ERA in 15 starts for the Rays veteran starter Erik Bedard has been shifted to the bullpen to clear a rotation spot for right-hander Jeremy Hellickson‘s return from the disabled list.

Hellickson has been recovering from January elbow surgery and made six minor-league rehab starts. He really struggled in five outings at Triple-A, going 1-4 with a 7.55 ERA, but Hellickson’s most recent start there was semi-decent and apparently the Rays are convinced he’s ready to start for them Tuesday against the Royals.

Hellickson won the Rookie of the Year award in 2011 and followed that up with an equally strong 2012, but he had a 5.17 ERA in 32 starts last season and has been anything but impressive rehabbing in the minors. Tampa Bay had the ability to activate him from the disabled list and option him to the minors, but is choosing not to do so.

  1. Marc - Jul 7, 2014 at 1:41 PM

    Obviously Hellickson has struggled in AAA, but the promotion has nothing to do with whether or not he’s ready. Rules stipulate that an MLB pitcher can not serve a rehab stint of longer than 30 days, today being day #31. They could have brought him up and buried him in the bullpen until he regained more control, but 80% of Jeremy Hellickson is probably better than 100% of Erik Bedard. Since he’s not going to the bullpen I guess the Rays agree with my math.

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