Live from Port Charlotte: Hellickson improving
RHP Jeremy Hellickson remained sidelined due to the mild strain of his right hamstring, but has improved, manager Joe Maddon said. "(Head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield) said he came in better, he liked the way he was moving around.''
Hellickson is expected to take the open spot in the rotation following the trade of Matt Garza, and Maddon said missing a short amount of time wouldn't put him too far behind to be able to start the season. Plus, with an off-day in the first week the Rays wouldn't need a fifth starter until April 10 so there would be some extra time to get him ready anyway. If they did need to consider a replacement, most likely would be RHP Andy Sonnanstine, who is otherwise likely to be the long reliever.
After what was an abbreviated workout due to the FanFest, Maddon said he spent some time talking to some of the new position players (such as Leslie Anderson and Brandon Guyer) and also to SS prospect Tim Beckham, and was impressed by his attitude and improved physique. "He just looks different,'' Maddon said.