Hellickson optioned to minors; Beliveau recalled
The Rays made the surprising move of sending struggling RHP Jeremy Hellickson to Class A Charlotte.
Hellickson was clearly unhappy when he dressed and left the Rays clubhouse in street clothes just before 5:30 but declined to comment on the move: "I'll let someone else tell you.''
LHP Jeff Beliveau was recalled from Triple-A to lead a hand to the bullpen.
Hellickson had failed to get through the third inning on Monday, and hasn't gotten through five innings in five of his last six starts.
The Rays don't plan to have Hellickson pitch for the Stone Crabs, manager Joe Maddon said.
"Just primarily to give him a little bit of a rest,'' manager Joe Maddon said. "He's well physically; we just thought giving him a little bit of a break would be very important right now. Obviously the more recent performances have not been great. And the fact that he is not injured, we felt the next best thing was to give him a little bit of a break.''
The Rays expect Hellickson to return in early September; the Stone Crabs season ends Sept. 1 - voiding the usual 10-day minimum stay - so he could be back as soon as Sept. 2
Maddon said Hellickson may throw a bullpen session or two, but they want "minimal usage with the arm. We think or feel as though he's going to be very impotant to us in September and October hopefully so that we want to get him back where he had been.''
The Rays will need a starter for Saturday's game in Oakland, and Maddon said there "possibly" would be another move to come, and from withing. The two most likely candidates for promotion as RHP Jake Odorizzi, who is 9-6, 3.33 at Triple-A Durham and is on the 40-man roster; and RHP J.D. Martin, who is 15-4, 2.84 and was just named MVP of the International League but is not on the 40-man roster.
Beliveau had been up twice this season but has not appeared in a game. He has been impressive at Durham, going 2-3, 2.62 with 76 strikeouts in 44 2/3 innings. He is likely to be a short-term fill-in until they call up a starter.