Tag: Jeremy Hellickson

David Ortiz

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights


Red Sox 11, Tigers 1: David Ortiz had a monster game, hitting two homers and driving in seven. The game story says Ortiz was motivated by his emotional reaction to watching Pedro Martinez get inducted into the Hall of Fame earlier in the day. OK, we’ll go with that and not facing a struggling Shane Greene and one of the worst bullpens in baseball. In other news, last week it was reported that the Tigers would reassess whether they would be buyers or sellers after Sunday’s game. Well, you’ve played your Sunday game. Now, general manager Dombrowski of ours, I think it’s time you told your Don what everyone seems to know: this Tigers season is over.

Mets 3, Dodgers 2: Juan Uribe, acquired from the Braves Friday night, won the game with a walkoff single — which almost went out — in the 10th inning. Before that, however, the fans were treated to a duel between two of the game’s best pitchers in Zack Greinke and Jacob deGrom. Advantage: deGrom, as the Mets ace shut the Dodgers out into the eighth and struck out eight. Meanwhile, Greinke’s scoreless inning streak came to an end at 45 and two-thirds when deGrom knocked in a run on a fielder’s choice in the third. Here’s something weird: Jeurys Familia, who was trying for a four-out save, blew it. The weird part: it was his fourth blown save this year and the Mets have come back to win all four of them.

Angels 13, Rangers 7: Not sure what’s more impressive: Mike Trout hitting this grand slam or the fan catching it in his “Trout Net?”


Trout hit a solo homer in this one too and finished 4-for-4 with five driven in. He takes over the league lead in homers from teammate Albert Pujols. More importantly, the Angels end a three-game losing streak and regain first place over the Astros.

Giants 4, Athletics 3: By beating the A’s, Tim Hudson has now beaten every single team in baseball. Current team, anyway. I mean, he hasn’t beaten the original Buffalo Bisons, the Providence Grays or the Cincinnati Outlaw Reds, but that’s no slight on Hudson. He’s the 15th pitcher to do that. Matt Duffy hit a two-run homer in the first and drove in three runs to help Hudson’s cause.

White Sox 2, Indians 1: Carlos Rodon pitched shutout ball into the seventh inning helping the Chisox get the four-game sweep over a team I thought might turn things around after the All-Star break but, like, never mind. The Sox outscored the Indians 26-5 and never trailed in the series.

Orioles 5, Rays 2: Nolan Reimold had three hits and drove in two runs. Caleb Joseph hit a two-run homer. In five starts since coming back from Tommy John surgery, Matt Moore has yet to pitch longer than five innings. The Rays are skidding, having dropped eight of their last nine series.

Pirates 3, Nationals 1: Gerrit Cole won his 14th game — that leads the bigs — after allowing one run on seven hits in seven and two-thirds. According to the AP, Cole is the first Pittsburgh pitcher with 14 wins before August since Dock Ellis in 1971. Which is to say he is doing the do.

Royals 5, Astros 1: Last week Yordano Ventura was sent to the minors because he was lost and the Royals lost another pitcher in Jason Vargas due to Tommy John surgery. Last night they went to bed with Johnny Cueto on the team and Ventura having pitched seven innings of one-run ball against one of the best offenses in baseball. Not a bad turnaround.

Yankees 7, Twins 2: Nate Eovaldi won his tenth game, pitching into the ninth inning, and Chase Headley and Stephen Drew each homered. Headley drove in three. This a day after Alex Rodriguez hit three homers. Remember back in the winter when people wondered how those two would both work on this team? Haha, me neither.

Braves 3, Cardinals 2: Adonis Garcia broke the tie with a sixth inning homer. Which required me to go look up who in the hell Adonis Garcia was again. Sometimes it’s fun and enlightening when your team is rebuilding. Rookie Matt Wisler got the win and pitched well. Which was easier to do with Yadier Molina, Jhonny Peralta and Mark Reynolds taking the day off.

Phillies 11, Cubs 5: Man, not a great weekend for the Cubs. Not merely swept by the Phillies, but no-hit and blown out too. Aaron Nola got his first big league win and drove in a run and Ryan Howard homered for the second straight day. The Phillies have won eight of nine since the All-Star break. After the game Nola said “I’m just soaking as much as I can in right now and being a part of this is pretty amazing.” He’s talking about the 2015 Philadelphia Phillies, by the way.


Mariners 6, Blue Jays 5: Franklin Gutierrez hit a walkoff homer in the 10th. His comeback, a year after sitting out all year with a back condition, is pretty impressive so far. That’s his third homer in 19 games and he’s slugging .511. So good to see from a player who has been absolutely snakebitten with injuries and maladies. Of course this triple play was the highlight of the game:


Ezeiquel Carrera would’ve been safe if he didn’t fall off the bag. And otherwise he didn’t have a bad game — he robbed Mike Zunino of a home run and hit a solo homer of his own — but that one is gonna stick with him for a while.

Padres 3, Marlins 2: Justin Upton homered and Odrisamer Despaigne pitched six solid innings and the Padres win their third in a row and the fifth in the past eight games since the break. Have to figure they’re still sellers but winning does sort of mess up the narrative when it comes time to trade away everyone you just brought in to, you know, win.

Rockies 17, Reds 7: That thing about the Royals up above? The opposite for Cincinnati. They lost Johnny Cueto and then had their young pitcher get his rear end handed back to him. The Rockies hit five homers — two from Carlos Gonzalez — and had a ten-run third inning against Michael Lorenzen and Dylan Axlerod. Axlerod wore this one, giving up eight runs himself in an inning and a third.

Diamondbacks 3, Brewers 0: The Brewers were shut out by Dbacks pitchers for the second straight day. This day Jeremy Hellickson did the honors, tossing six shutout innings. Milwaukee scored just five runs in the four-game series.

Trevor Cahill, Chase Anderson win rotation spots with D-Backs; Daniel Hudson to bullpen

diamondbacks logo alternate

According to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com, Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale announced today that right-handers Trevor Cahill and Chase Anderson have claimed the final two spots in the starting rotation. They’ll join Opening Day starter Josh Collmenter as well as offseason acquisitions Jeremy Hellickson and Rubby De La Rosa.

Daniel Hudson, who has missed much of the last three seasons with two Tommy John surgeries, was in the the mix for a rotation spot this spring and has compiled a 4.22 ERA and 8/4 K/BB ratio over 10 2/3 innings while showing good velocity. However, his workload would be limited as a starter and Hudson told Gilbert that the decision to move him to the bullpen was a “mutual” one.

Anderson, 27, posted a 4.01 ERA and 105/40 K/BB ratio in 114 1/3 innings across 21 starts as a rookie last season. Cahill had a rough 5.61 ERA across 17 starts and 14 relief appearances last season, but he’s still owed $12 million this season and has changed his mechanics in hopes of better results.

While this is the rotation the D-Backs will go with to begin the season, it should have a very different look as the year moves along. Arms like Randall Delgado, Allen Webster, and Vidal Nuno linger as alternatives. Archie Bradley is under consideration for the final bullpen spot with the big club, but he’s likely to head back to Triple-A to pitch as a starter in hopes of making an impact in the rotation this season. Patrick Corbin and Bronson Arroyo are in rehab mode from Tommy John surgery and could be ready to rejoin Arizona’s rotation around midseason.

Read more about the Diamondbacks in my 2015 season preview.

2015 Preview: Arizona Diamondbacks

Chip Hale, Dave Stewart, Tony LaRussa

Between now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2015 season. Next up. The Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Big Question: There’s nowhere to go but up, right?

Since winning the National League West in 2011, the Diamondbacks have turned in three straight disappointing seasons and finished last season with the worst record in the majors at 64-98. Tony La Russa was hired as chief baseball officer early on in the year, which essentially signaled that Kevin Towers and Kirk Gibson were living on borrowed time. Sure enough, they were both fired in September.

Tasked with taking the franchise in a new direction, La Russa hired one of his former pitchers from the Athletics, Dave Stewart, to serve as general manager while De Jon Watson was brought over from the Dodgers as senior vice president of baseball operations. Chip Hale, who has coached with the Mets and Athletics in recent seasons, was then brought aboard for his first managing opportunity in the big leagues.

Stewart was outspoken when he was an agent and he has already said his fair share of interesting things as Arizona’s general manager. Most notably, when the Diamondbacks were briefly courting right-hander James Shields in free agency, he said they were more of a “true baseball team” as opposed to teams which are more geared toward analytics. This was likely just an attempt at a sales pitch to appeal to a player they only had a small chance of actually signing, but it’s not the first impression you want after the grit-centered philosophy of Towers and Gibson fizzled out.

Getting back to contender status is going to be a process. The team’s big offseason move was signing Yasmany Tomas to a six-year, $68.5 million contract, but the third base experiment has been a bust so far and he’s still learning to hit major league pitching. Interesting arms like Jeremy Hellickson, Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster, Robbie Ray, and Yoan Lopez were brought in over the offseason, but this is a team that is going with Josh Collmenter as their Opening Day starter. He would be a back-end starter on a good staff. After dealing catcher Miguel Montero to the Cubs, Stewart didn’t seem so keen (or didn’t have the budget) to acquire a suitable replacement, so Tuffy Gosewisch stands to get most of the playing time in the early going. Peter O’Brien, who Stewart was hoping could be a solution behind the plate, was having trouble throwing the ball back to the mound this spring and could be bound for the outfield. Barring a last-minute move, this could be the weakest catching situation in the majors.

This lineup has a couple of interesting pieces in place, which I’ll get to in a minute, but expectations are understandably low for 2015 in a division which also has the Dodgers, Giants, and Padres.

What else is going on?

  • After finishing second in the NL MVP balloting in 2013, Paul Goldschmidt was well on his way to a comparable follow-up last season by hitting .300/.396/.542 with 19 home runs and 69 RBI across 109 games before he suffered a broken hand on a hit-by-pitch in early August. He’s back to 100 percent now and remains the shining light on this roster.
  • Aside from the excellence of Goldschmidt at first base, the infield is in flux. Assuming Tomas doesn’t work out at third base, young Jake Lamb is a possibility there, but Aaron Hill could also get some time at the hot corner if the D-Backs go with Nick Ahmed at shortstop and try Chris Owings at second base. Trading Hill, which has been rumored, could clear the way for all of the youngsters to get playing time. I’m guessing we’ll see that configuration sooner or later.
  • This outfield has a lot of moving pieces and not all of them are ideal fits. A.J. Pollock is locked in as the starting center fielder while Mark Trumbo appears set to start in right field, but David Peralta, Ender Inciarte, Cody Ross, and Tomas are also in the mix. Trumbo and Tomas in the corners might not be pretty. They also have similar offensive profiles. Which is to say, power without much patience.
  • This rotation doesn’t look particularly strong right now, but it figures to get better as the season moves along. Patrick Corbin and Bronson Arroyo are both working their way back from Tommy John surgery and should be ready to return by mid-season. Things didn’t go as planned for top prospect Archie Bradley last year, but he could surface in the majors soon with a good showing in Triple-A.
  • Perhaps my favorite story to watch with this team will be Daniel Hudson, who has lost much of the last three seasons due to a pair of Tommy John surgeries. The 28-year-old returned for three relief appearances down the stretch last year and has flashed mid-90s velocity this spring. It’s unclear if he’ll be used as a starter or reliever, but here’s hoping he can finally stay healthy and deliver on the promise he showed in the early part of his career.

Prediction: This could really go either way with the Rockies, as they look like two of the weakest teams in the majors, but I’m going to say a repeat of Fifth Place, NL West.

D-Backs GM Dave Stewart sees Jeremy Hellickson as “a number two or number three starter”

Jeremy Hellickson Getty

On Friday night, the Diamondbacks acquired Jeremy Hellickson in a trade with the Rays, sending over prospects Andrew Velazquez and Justin Williams. GM Dave Stewart sees Hellickson as “a number two or number three starter”, per Nick Piecoro of AZCentral.com. Stewart said he felt giving up two minor leaguers with potential was worth it as they feel Hellickson can be a key contributor during the 2015 season.

Hellickson didn’t make his 2014 debut until July 8 as he was recovering from surgery on his right elbow, which removed loose bodies. He struggled for a second consecutive season, finishing with a 4.52 ERA and a 54/21 K/BB ratio in 63 2/3 innings.

Hellickson was the recipient of the American League Rookie of the Year Award in 2011 and showed that he could succeed in the major leagues. Though it came in a small sample of innings, the right-hander’s strikeout rate continued to climb for a third consecutive season.

Diamondbacks acquire Jeremy Hellickson from the Rays

Jeremy Hellickson

The Diamondbacks have acquired starter Jeremy Hellickson in a trade with the Rays, Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune reports. The Rays have acquired minor league shortstop Andrew Velazquez and outfielder Justin Williams.

Hellickson, 27, has had it tough over the past couple of years. The 2011 American League Rookie of the Year has an aggregate 5.00 ERA with a 189/71 K/BB ratio over the past two seasons. He underwent surgery to remove loose bodies from his right elbow on January 30 and didn’t make his 2014 season debut until July 8.

Velazquez, 20, was drafted by the D-Backs in the seventh round of the 2012 draft. This past season at Single-A South Bend, he hit .290/.367/.428 with nine home runs and 15 RBI.

Williams, 19, was taken by the D-Backs in the second round of the 2013 draft. Between rookie ball with Missoula and with Single-A South Bend, he hit .351/.403/.467 with four home runs and 46 RBI.