Rays rookie Jeremy Hellickson did something only two other pitchers since 1920 have done

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There’s an interesting note on the Baseball-Reference.com blog about Jeremy Hellickson, who tossed seven shutout innings last night against the Tigers. Hellickson also threw seven innings of two-run ball versus the Twins in his debut last week.
So what’s the interesting note? Well, in both starts he allowed three hits and that makes him just the third pitcher since 1920 to throw seven or more innings while allowing three or fewer hits in each of his first two big-league starts.
The previous two were 20-year-old Oakland A’s right-hander Mike Norris in 1975 and 18-year-old Kansas City A’s right-hander Lew Krausse in 1961.
All of which sounds really impressive until you consider that Norris and Krausse combined to win just 126 games (with 150 losses). So far Hellickson is 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA and 13/2 K/BB ratio.

Michael Pineda throws off mound for first time since Tommy John surgery

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According to MLB.com associate reporter Jarrid Denney, right-hander Michael Pineda threw off a mound Wednesday morning at Target Field for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Pineda was signed to a two-year, $10 million free agent contract this winter by the Twins, who are probably more focused on what he might be able to do in 2019 rather than 2018.

He had the reconstructive elbow surgery last July 18, so he won’t be an option for the Minnesota rotation until probably late August or September of this year. Still, that deal seems like a nice gamble given the price point and the possibility that he will regain his form as a No. 2 or No. 3 starter. That he’s making steady progress in his rehab makes the situation all the more encouraging.

Pineda, 29, holds a 4.05 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and 687 strikeouts in 680 career major league innings.