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.
Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner left Monday’s Cactus League game against the Athletics after he was hit by a pitch. He went for X-rays, revealing that he suffered a broken wrist, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. Shaikin adds that Turner is unlikely to return before May, noting that Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman missed six weeks with a similar injury last year and Astros outfielder George Springer missed nine weeks in 2015.
Needless to say, this is a huge loss for the Dodgers. Last year, Turner hit .322/.415/.530 with 21 home runs and 71 RBI in 543 plate appearances, helping the Dodgers reach the World Series. He made the All-Star team for the first time in his career and finished eighth in NL MVP balloting.
Thankfully, the Dodgers have some versatile players on the roster. Logan Forsythe could move from second base to third, giving Chase Utley more playing time at second. Enrique Hernandez could man the hot corner as well. Chris Taylor has played some third base, or he could shift to second base in Forsythe’s stead. The club should shed some light on how it plans to move forward following Turner’s injury.