sportstalkflorida.com News

Rays Spring Training Day 4: Jeremy Hellickson

DAY FOURSixty out of 65 players have reported to campreporting today were OF Sam Fuld, INF Mike Fontenot, OF Rich Thompson and 1B/OF Leslie Andersonthe five players yet to arrive are RH Dane De La Rosa (who cleared waivers and was invited to camp on Monday), DH Luke Scott, SS Yunel Escobar, SS Hak-Ju Lee and 1B/OF Shelley Duncan.

  • LH David Price, RH Fernando Rodney, RH Jeff Niemann, RH Kyle Farnsworth and RH Roberto Hernandez were among those who threw bullpen sessions today.

Manager Joe Maddon

On Jeremy Hellickson: Theres definitely 200 [innings] in him, at least, maybe even more than that. The big part with Jeremy is just commanding his fastball more consistently, getting the outs more efficiently. Once he learns how to do that, the 200 innings will be there. Thats the misconception. Its not necessarily about getting stronger or a different kind of work pattern, its about what youre thinking.

On how four- and five-inning starts affect the bullpen: Its always taxing on our bullpen, and we want all of our guys to understand that concept. Thats why bullpens are good or not so good sometimes. When your starters are able to get deeper into games, its able to get some of the workload off of your bullpen, and you can use the bullpen like you want to as opposed to how you have to. Starters are good, bullpen is good, Rays win; its always a good moment.

Right-handed pitcher Jeremy Hellickson

On trying to stretch out his starts to pitch more innings: I felt like I could have thrown 200 innings last year. Like you said, theres a handful of games where I went four or five innings. Youre not going to get to that goal throwing that amount of innings in that amount of games. But thats my goal this year, and I think Im ready to do it.

Outfielder Sam Fuld

On being able to contribute off the bench: Thats kind of the beauty of it. Youre going to be involved in the game no matter what. Wed all like to be starting a lot, but Joe [Maddon], thats one of his best characteristics, is his ability to keep everybody engaged and keep everybody active in the game and feel like they have an important role on the team.

On the teams offseason moves: First of all, its tough to lose the guys that we lost. Thats a big hit, theres no doubt about that. In some ways, its reminiscent of two years ago when I came over here as a newcomer and all the talk was there was this huge amount of turnover, and we lost [Carl] Crawford, [Carlos] Pea, [Jason] Bartlett and [Matt] Garzaall these big names, and at the end of the year we were in the playoffs. At this point, you cant help but just have a ton of faith in the front office and the moves that they make.


our editors