1Jeremy Hellickson had surgery on his elbow last week and will miss the start of the season according to Marc Topkin of TampaBay.com.

According to the report, Hellickson is expected to be out until at least mid-May.

Hellickson needed arthroscopic surgery after feeling discomfort when he started his off-season throwing program. The procedure is considered minor.

Jake Odorizzi is the most likely candidate to replace Hellickson in the rotation, although you can be sure Andrew Friedman is checking in on cheap free agents and trade targets for a potential replacement.

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11 Comments

  1. edward williams says:

    not questioning jeremy, but why does it seem to be that athletes seem to wait until just before spring training or training camp etc, to have surgery that they know will keep them out for awhile, incredible, i guess insurance will pick up part of his salary , so maybe aj burnett is an option.

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    • chris says:

      The MLB article says he felt discomfort when he started his offseason throwing program to get ready for the season. So he didn't wait intentionally, he just noticed the problem.

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  2. Geoff Peterson says:

    Jeremy would not be making a decision as to when to have surgery. The team would dictate it based on the team doctor and availability. More likely this is something recently detected when they did off season physicals and they probably scheduled it immediately. It sure might explain why he was less successful than expected last season. As for a fill in, I'd sooner see someone cheaper signed like Arroyo or Maholm if they only expect him to miss 8-10 starts

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  3. Lyle P Logan says:

    Ed -- AJB is not an option. I'd be shocked if he signs with anyone but Baltimore, Philly, or the Pirates.

    Geoff -- Arroyo won't come "cheap" and why go with a Maholm-type when the INTERNAL options are likely to be superior??

    Odorizzi figures to do just fine, and deserves first shot. Might even turn out to be better than Hellickson. Same goes for Enny Romero and (if healthy) Colome.

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    • Dave L says:

      Now we have to replace 150 innings from Hernandez plus maybe 60+ from Helli. Its too much to expect from our young arms if we expect to go deep into late October.

      I think they are both correct in that we need another veteran-ish arm. But doubt we will bring in a guy who had a good year last year.

      We never do that.

      Who is a SP who is available at under $4M who was injured and is finished rehabbing or had a subpar year and is champing at the bit, so has a ton of question marks we can sign cheap to a one year incentive laden contract??

      I don't have the answer but thats what we usually do.

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      • Nathan says:

        If they wanted to find another Roberto Hernandez, they're out there:
        Erik Bedard, Tommy Hanson, Jeff Karstens, Joe Saunders, potentially even Jeff Neimann. The thing is we don't need one guy to fill 200 innings. We've got 3 in our system that can do it combined.

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        • Dave L says:

          Well hopefully better than RH.

          Niemann won't be ready till mid season but I woulnd't be surprised to see him back in the org.

          Thanks for those names I haven't really looked into them but I will.

          Im just suggesting that taking a chance on a cheap ($2-4M) veteran SP who might be able to give us 80 to 100 innings of league average pitching would then give our young talent a better chance to help us and be in better shape to help us in Sept and Oct..

          Archer frankly was fried at the end of last season and useless and un-startable. Having a cheap vet is a more likely option than all in on an over priced Burnett IMO and more likely in the Rays character.

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        • Dave L says:

          Nathan I think you nailed it with Tommy Hanson.

          He's only 27 his bad numbers have been rising steadily since he came up. But hes got excuses, health issues and death of a brother, in 2013 playing on that dysfunctional Angels team last year. He only made $3.75M and was non tendered.

          We can get him cheap on a one year deal. Hes a big guy 6' 6". Get him to work with Hickey and Molina and get JoMo to call his games and ''frame' his starts heheh. Hell, we only need 10 to 15 good starts out of him not 24 like the ill fated Fausto. Any more would be a bonus.

          He is my pick as to who we will bring in.

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    • Chaz says:

      Surprisingly (using FanGraphs numbers), Paul Maholm has been a better pitcher by some metrics than Hellickson over the last 3 years.

      WAR: Maholm (4.6) > Helly (3.9)
      xFIP: Maholm (4.03, 3.84, 3.89) > Helly (4.72, 4.44, 4.15)

      Maholm has also thrown over 150 innings in each of those last 3 years totaling 84 starts.

      Seems to me that Maholm (who will be cheaper than many others and flippable at the deadline) is exactly the kind of guy the Rays would want to look at on a one year deal.

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    • Geoff Peterson says:

      The reason I suggested Maholm was based on his experience and innings pitched in recent years. I'd like to see Jake be the #5 too but if we have a bridge to mid-season with a guy like Maholm, we save innings on one or more of the young arms and allow them to be fresher in September and hopefully October. Arroyo is no longer on my radar as he wants a 3 year deal. Maybe resign Niemann too and deal Maholm once Helly or Niemann is ready to go.

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  4. Dave L says:

    Well you both make valid points but have opposite assumptions of the reality of the situation.

    First Edward W assumes Helli knew about the elbow and for whatever reason, denial, fear of surgery (who wouldn;t) didnt say anything until it was detected.

    Second Geoff P assumes Helli was totally oblivious to the condition of his elbow and it was only revealed by a physicians exam to the surprise of all.

    My hope is that whichever of you is correct, this was a lingering condition which affected his pitching in 2013 and correcting it will get him back into 2011-2012 form and results..

    I don't buy that a luckily BABIP and regressing to the mean can explain 2 full years of ERA+ of around 125 then suddenly a lowly 75, in Fausto territory and thus unusable for the stretch run.

    Something else was going on.

    So even if he was 'lucky' I will be happy with an ERA+ of 115 in 2014 which would make him a solid above league average starter again and a solid #3

    He'll only be 27 when he comes back and his arm has been never overused and his throwing motion is compact and effortless.

    But then again i'm an optimist.

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