Joe got the DVR going for this one and it’s now a pretty crappy Saturday morning.

Funny how the A’s have looked a lot like the Rays in this series — opportunistic, winning with hustle and defense. (13K on a Friday night out there? Sheesh.)

Joe’s just got a bad feeling rippling through him at the news that Hellboy is heading down to A-ball to learn how to be a relief pitcher, so reports Mark Topkin of the St. Pete Times.

Make the David Price 2008 analogies all you want this is a hell of a lot different. And it feels crappy.

Price didn’t show up in ’08 as an All-Star caliber starter when the Rays needed him most. He made a start, and jumped in the pen to blow hitters away with gas.

Hellickson kept it going last night with another strong outing in this bullpen-choking, 5-4 loss to the A’s. The bats were a step above lifeless.

Sure, the Hellboy situation is all part of the grand master Sternberg plan. And if you look at the standings, it’s presumably working. But when you’re clearly in a win-now situation, likely losing many key pieces next year, this Hellboy move seems like old fashioned foolishness.



  1. Don says:

    I feel confident in saying...NO other ML team would send down their 2nd best pitcher to the minors when they are trying to make the playoffs & win a league championship...
    The furure in sports is NOW the Rays might not be in this position next year, or the year after, or the year after...
    Hellboy will live if he pitched another 4/5 games during regular season...
    Also, last night...forget Zobrist's one little error late in the game...Upton, Pena, Longo, Jaso and Aybar got NO (0) hits...
    and we should have won...bullshit!

  2. Gatorbuc15 says:

    Sending Hellboy down to the minors is an absolute crime. He has been been the BEST pitcher in the Rays rotation when he's been up. If I'm Hellickson, I'm wondering what in the hell do I have to do to remain in the majors!

    Man this move SUCKS!

  3. Sarah says:

    I think you are all over reacting. He'll be back September 1, which is what -- 10 days away?

    They are not going to make him part of the regular rotation as long as the other starters are healthy and reasonably effective.

    They would like to be able to use him in the bullpen in Sept. and possibly October, so he can use these 10 days to get comfortable appearing in relief.

    If there's one thing the Rays seem to have done well lately it's manage the health of their pitchers. Let's let them handle this in the way they believe, based on evidence, is long term effective.

  4. Jeff says:

    Put Hellickson in the Pen as your new 7th inning guy with Benoit 8th and Soriano 9th. It's not that hard. Fooling around by using Wheeler, Cormier, Choke and Qualls is stupid. How many more games will these guys blow.

  5. KillaTapes says:

    I was at the game, front row behind A's bullpen. It was sad how few people were there, it felt like a ghost town. I stayed pretty reserved but let out some emphatic cheering for Bossman's diving grab and Zorillas HR to which I didn't catch any flack. Gonna try to go tomorrow as well. Let's hope we can salvage a split in this thing.

    On another note, the infield D just looked timid and shaky all night, even on routine plays.

  6. Matt says:

    So maddon said he didnt want hellboy pitching in relief in the majors but he'll pitch out of the bullpen in low A. Totally disagree with the logic there

  7. Dustin says:

    I'm tempted to simply ditto sarah's comment, cuz i think she's absolutely right. Hellboy will be back September 1st, which ought not be too long for us to wait. Getting him some bullpen work down in minors is not a bad idea, as it'll let him get regular work, prepare for his role with the Rays when he gets back, and avoid running up his innings. Once Davis and Niemann are back, which'll be soon, the Rays will do nothing other than continue to have one of the best rotations, top to bottom, in baseball.

    There is absolutely nothing to be upset about here, other than the fact that we don't get to see Hellickson start another game till (probably) next year. I can live with that, for sure, and I think the move likely helps the Rays win games down the stretch.

  8. Matt says:

    but there wasting his options. I think he has one left and you never what could happen next year. Probably wont effect him but maybe he'll struggle and theyll need to call him down and then he has no options left.

    • Dustin says:

      The question of options is a fair one, tho if it's an issue, or rather, when he hits a rough patch once he's out of options, the Rays can always "discover" a minor injury that sends him to the 15-day DL, which isn't entirely unlike getting sent to to Durham for a spell.

    • Jim says:

      Options is not a problem in this case. The Rays "used an option" as soon as Hellboy started the year in the minors (He's on the 40-man roster). The Rays can only get charged with one option per season. So they could bring him up and send him back down 30 times and it still only counts as one option.

  9. Tone says:

    Watch Davis or Shields suck, and Hellboy get used out of the pen. Makes little sense to me either. I would rather have him be a starter in the minors than for them to use this weird ass against their own logic crap. Why not put Jake(another needed leftie) in the pen instead of Thayer. They make me want to punch things. Never do they say what they mean or do what they say. I never believe anything they say publicly or that is "leaked", all of it ends up being bullshit. Sick of their lack of candor and total lies. "We will not get a 7million dollar closer", "All the line ups are based on stats and match ups", ect.. All of it is just plain lies, trying to juke out the Yanks or just having fun fucking with the few fans that give them money.

  10. I'm with you on this one Joe. Right now, Hellickson is the ace of the staff and there is no way they should consider moving him to the pen. Go with the hot hand and there is no one hotter right now than Hellickson.

    First of all, we don't even know if he can pitch every day or every other day out of the pen, but we know he can start. Why is he more suited for the pen then a Davis?


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