After yet another disappointing outing the Tampa Rays today optioned starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson to the High A Charlotte Stone Crabs.
Over his last 6 starts dating back to July 29th Hellickson has posted a record of 0-5 with an ERA of 9.00. He has only made it past the 5th inning in one start (6 innings vs Toronto on August 16th). He has allowed 42 hits in his 25 innings of work striking out 13 and walking 11. The opposition has hit .385 against him in this span.,
It was an odd turn of events for Hellickson who had seemingly righted the ship after a rough start of the season. He had entered the month of June with a record of 2-4 and and ERA of 5.61.
Despite his struggles he had only allowed 66 hits in his 69 innings of work, struck out 53 while only walking 19, and the opposition had a batting average against him of .253. His biggest problem was the home run ball as he allowed the opposition to leave the yard a dozen times.
Then from June 2 to July 26 he went 8-1 with an ERA of 3.17. He made 1o starts working 59.2 innings allowing 58 hits striking out 50 while walking 12, and the opposition hit .254 against him. The biggest improvement was in keeping the ball in the park as he held the opposition to just four home runs.
The June-July stretch was also impressive as he made starts against some of the strongest lineups in baseball. In posting a 5-1 record in June he held the Indians, Orioles, Red Sox, and Tigers to a combined 6R/ER in 23 innings of work.
Credit Andrew Astleford (@aastleford) of FoxSportsFlorida.com with breaking the story:
Rays send Jeremy Hellickson to Class A Charlotte, call up LHP Jeff Beliveau.
— Andrew Astleford (@aastleford) August 27, 2013
Joe Maddon has said of sending Hellickson down, “We just thought that giving him a little bit of a break would be very important right now.”
Hellickson will rest for the next 7 days and he’ll only do light work while in Port Charlotte.
According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times the Stone Crabs season ends September 1st thus voiding the normal 10-day minimum stay so Hellickson could return as early as September 2nd.
Topkin also says Joe Maddon wants minimal usage from Hellickson’s arm, saying “We think or feel as though he’s going to be very impotant to us in September and October hopefully so that we want to get him back where he had been.”
The Rays will need a starting pitcher in Oakland on Saturday and it is most likely expected to be Jake Odorizzi who is 9-6 with a 3.63 ERA at Triple-A Durham.
Another option, although not on the 40-man roster, would be J.D. Martin who is 15-4 with a 2.84 ERA with the Bulls and was just named the MVP of teh International League.
In 2009 and 2010 Martin made 24 starts for the Washington Nationals posting a record of 6-9 with a 4.32 ERA.