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.
Indians reliever Andrew Miller lasted only six pitches in Monday night’s appearance against the Red Sox. He walked Mookie Betts on six pitches before being relieved by Dan Otero. Per MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian, Miller reaggravated the patella tendinitis in his right knee.
Miller, 32, missed a couple of weeks earlier this month with patella tendinitis. He was activated last Friday and got two outs in a scoreless appearance against the Royals that night.
Bastian pointed out that Miller’s velocity has been lower than usual. He averaged 92.1 MPH on his fastball on Friday and 90.1 MPH on Monday, well below his normal average around 94 MPH.
The Indians should have more on Miller’s status after Monday’s game or on Tuesday. The lefty is carrying a 1.65 ERA with a 79/16 K/BB ratio in 54 2/3 innings on the season.
Rangers third baseman Joey Gallo and reliever Matt Bush collided attempting to catch an infield pop-up during Sunday afternoon’s game against the White Sox. Bush was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Monday with an MCL sprain in his right knee. Both he and Gallo are experiencing concussion symptoms, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports, and Gallo also suffered a nasal fracture. Gallo has not yet been put on the disabled list.
Losing both players is a big loss for the Rangers, who entered Monday’s action just 2.5 games out of the second Wild Card slot.
Gallo, 23, has had a breakout season, batting .205/.329/.561 with 35 home runs, 65 RBI, and 68 runs scored in 410 plate appearances.
Bush, 31, has been solid out of the bullpen, putting up a 3.04 ERA with a 53/18 K/BB ratio in 47 1/3 innings.