Last week we said we wouldn’t be surprised if the Rays shut Jeremy Hellickson down for the year. And now we are beginning to wonder if the move is overdue.
Prior to Sunday’s two-inning outing, Hellickson had faced only four batters in the past two weeks. And with the Rays shuffling the rotation this past weekend, the Rays passed on an excellent opportunity to get Hellboy a spot-start.
It has only been four appearances, but so far Hellickson hasn’t taken to his new relief role the same way David Price did in 2008. Of the 32 batters he has faced as a reliever, he has given up 12 hits and walked 3, while striking out only 3.
It is clear the Rays are not going to use him as a starting pitcher in the postseason, and now it doesn’t look like they will have much use for him as a relief pitcher. If that is the case, the Rays should just shut him down now, limit the 2010 mileage on his arm and start getting him ready for the 2011 season.