As Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times first reported, the Rays have decided to promote top pitching prospect Jeremy Hellickson for a one-time spot start on Monday against the Twins. Whether he sticks around to pitch out of the bullpen remains to be seen, but it would make some sense. For now he is simply going to provide the entire Rays’ starting rotation with an extra day of rest.
Hellickson, a 23-year-old right-hander, was drafted in the fourth round of the 2005 draft and has posted fantastic numbers at every stop in the minor leagues.
He had a 1.09 WHIP and a 2.67 ERA over 111 innings at Single-A Columbus in 2007. Then in 2008 he rattled off 162 strikeouts in 152 innings between Single-A and Double-A, walking just 20. In 2009 he finished with an incredible 0.89 WHIP over 114 innings including a 0.80 WHIP over his first 57.1 innings with Triple-A Durham. This year he has fanned 123 batters in 117.2 innings at Durham for a 12-3 record and a 2.45 ERA. Needless to say, the kid is ready.
The Rays have been hesitant to give Hellickson the call this year because the starting five in Tampa has looked great and has been able to avoid injury. Yes, even Wade Davis has pitched well enough to deserve his spot. Hellickson will almost certainly be a factor heading into 2011, though, and he could have a slight impact in this year’s race to the American League pennant. Onward, Rays.
When last we posted about Yasiel Puig it was to pass along a rumor that the best player on his team wants him off of it. If that was true — and if this report is true — then expect that sentiment to remain unchanged:
Obviously this report is vague and there has not been, say, a police report or other details to fill it in. Perhaps we’ll learn more, perhaps Puig was misbehaving perhaps he wasn’t.
As we wait for details, however, it’s probably worth reminding ourselves that Puig is coming off of a lost season in which he couldn’t stay healthy, so trading him for any sort of decent return at the moment isn’t super likely. Which leads us to some often overlooked but undeniable baseball wisdom: you can be a distraction if you’re effective and you can be ineffective if you’re a good guy. You really can’t be an ineffective distraction, however, and expect to hang around very long.
We’ve written several times about how boring the Padres’ uniforms and color scheme is. And how that’s an even greater shame given how colorful they used to be. No, not all of their mustard and brown ensembles were great looking, but some were and at some point it’s better to miss boldly than to endure blandness.
Now comes a hint that the Padres may step a toe back into the world of bright colors. At least a little bit. A picture of a new Padres cap is making the rounds in which a new “sunshine yellow” color has been added to the blue and white:
This story from the Union-Tribune notes that the yellow also appears on the recently-unveiled 2016 All-Star Game logo, suggesting that the yellow in the cap could either be part of some special All-Star-related gear or a new color to the normal Padres livery.
I still strongly advocate for the Padres to bring back the brown — and there are a multitude of design ideas which could do that in tasteful fashion — but for now any addition of some color would be a good thing.
Oakland’s re-acquisition of infielder Jed Lowrie from Houston makes it “likely” that the A’s will now trade infielder Brett Lawrie, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Slusser says Lowrie’s arrival “all but ensures” both Lawrie and Danny Valencia are on the trading block, adding that Lawrie “is considered the better bet to be traded.”
Acquired last offseason from the Blue Jays in the Josh Donaldson trade, Lawrie hit .260 with 16 homers and a .706 OPS in 149 games while playing second base and third base. At age 25 he’s a solid player, but Lawrie has failed to live up to his perceived potential while hitting .263 with a .736 OPS in 494 career games.
At this point it sounds like the A’s plan to start Marcus Semien at shortstop and Lowrie at second base.
Peter Gammons reports that the Red Sox are on a mission to sign David Price and that they will pay some serious money to get him. Gammons quotes one anonymous GM who says that he expects the Sox to “go $30-40 million above anyone else.”
The man calling the shots for the Sox is Dave Dombrowski and he knows Price well, of course, having traded for him in Detroit. But there is going to be serious competition for Price’s services with the Jays and Cubs, among many others, bidding for his services. It would be unusual for a team to outbid the competition by tens of millions as Gammons’ source suggests, but the dollars will be considerable regardless.