Thursday, November 23, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays' Hellickson receives Gold Glove

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ST. PETERSBURG — The glove he used last season is made of leather and not really gold. But RHP Jeremy Hellickson, out of respect for its accomplishment, is treating it like an heirloom and took it out of commission.

"I used a couple of (gloves), one of them is retired," Hellickson said. "I really haven't done anything with it. It's just sitting there right now waiting for the trophy to enjoy."

Before Sunday's game, Hellickson received the 2012 Gold Glove Award. He was named co-winner with White Sox RHP Jake Peavy, the first time two pitchers have tied for the honor.

At 25, Hellickson was the youngest pitcher to win the award since Bret Saberhagen in 1985, and he joined Fernando Valenzuela as the only pitchers to win a Gold Glove and the rookie of the year award.

Hellickson said he grew up idolizing former Braves RHP Greg Maddux, a Gold Glove winner 18 times.

"The Cy Young is definitely at the top of the list," Hellickson said. "But I grew up watching Maddux win all of them. I'm really honored to win it, and I wasn't expecting it, but it's really something awesome to win and I like winning it.

"It's something we work hard on. It was exciting to get that call and go to the banquet and see all those other guys there, perennial Gold Glovers. This is just a huge honor."

ROAD WARRIORS: The Rays finished 3-3 on their homestand after losing two of three to the Orioles and taking the series against the Indians 2-1.

Tampa Bay begins a 10-game road trip beginning tonight against the Rangers. Then it's on to Boston (April 12-15) and Baltimore (April 16-18). In fact, the Rays play 20 of their next 26 games away from Tropicana Field. Their second road trip — also a 10-game voyage to Chicago, Kansas City and Colorado — matches the longest of the season.

"We're not intimidated by any venue," manager Joe Maddon said. "I think the fact we've grown up in the American League East permits us to not be intimidated by a difficult venue. Texas can be, of course Boston definitely can be and now Baltimore is back to that point. It's something to look forward to. It's a long trip that's a little more difficult right out of the chute, but our guys will be fine."

Hellickson will celebrate his 26th birthday with his start against the Rangers. In 12 innings against Texas, he is 0-1 with a 2.25 ERA. The Rangers are one of three American League teams Hellickson has never beaten, along with the White Sox and A's.

"I'm looking forward to it," he said. "Texas is never an easy place to pitch. It's a good team and a tough place to pitch. They've still got a lot of scary hitters. (Mitch) Moreland is getting everyday at-bats now, and he's a very good hitter. They've still got speed at the top of their lineup."

SCOTT UPDATE: DH Luke Scott, who is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list today, will accompany the team to Texas but still could be a week or so away from a rehab assignment.

Scott has not done anything to test his calf strain but has been receiving treatment and hitting baseballs off a tee.

"I'd like to get on the bike or the elliptical (machine)," he said. "If not, I'll try to at least convince them to let me swim against the current. … I want to go test it. But it's a gradual thing. You can't push it. I'm ready to start building it back up. I know I can go out there and jog."

MISCELLANY: It was the largest shutout against the Rays since 14-0 to Toronto in 2004. … They are 0-for-9 with the bases loaded this season. … Tampa Bay did not commit an error for the sixth straight game, a club record to start a season. … Indians RH Justin Masterson is the third pitcher to beat both reigning Cy Young winners in the same season, joining Bruce Hurst in 1989 and Shane Reynolds in 2003. Masterson beat Toronto's R.A. Dickey in Tuesday's season opener.

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