Monday, April 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays' Jeremy Hellickson okay after being hit on head by ball, taken to hospital

DETROIT — Jeremy Hellickson had a lot to be thankful for after a scary pregame incident in which he was hit in the head by a ball during Detroit's batting practice and taken by ambulance to a hospital for tests.

And at the top of the list was the unstylish somewhat straight bill of his cap.

"I found my new lucky hat, I know that," he said.

Hellickson was doing his between-starts throwing in the visitors bullpen beyond leftfield when a home run ball, said to be hit by former Ray Delmon Young, struck Hellickson on the side of the head and knocked him down and, briefly, out.

A series of tests, including X-rays and a CAT scan, at Harper University Hospital were negative. Pending some follow-up concussion testing today, Hellickson, who had swelling near his left eye, plans to make his next start as scheduled on Saturday in Boston. "I'll be out there," he said.

Manager Joe Maddon said the Rays would make that determination today, with the options of having Wade Davis make the start or calling up a pitcher from Triple A.

Hellickson had just thrown a pitch near the end of his session with pitching coach Jim Hickey and bullpen coach Stan Boroski when Tigers players in the outfield yelled, "Heads-up." "I was turning and I heard the thud," Boroski said. "It was that fast."

"Thank God I put my head down and had my hat on," Hellickson said. "The ball hit the cap before it got me, and I just went down. … I think it was more scary than anything, and once I realized I was fine, it was all right."

Hellickson said he blacked out for a few seconds and had "a little headache and was a little dizzy" at the time, but he watched Wednesday's game from the clubhouse and said afterward he felt fine. "I feel normal now," he said. "It just feels swollen, but there's nothing (there). It just feels like it."

There were two contributing factors to the unusual incident: First, pitchers normally don't throw bullpen sessions during batting practice, but with the string of day games it was more convenient than trying to do so before the Tigers took the field. Second, there are no screens or netting at Comerica Park, as at some other stadiums during batting practice, to shield people in the bullpen. "That would help," Hickey said.

READY TO ROLL: RHP Jeff Niemann is eager to get his season started today, the last Ray to appear in a game.

Niemann said the blister on his right middle finger is all but gone and should not be an issue today in how he grips the ball or how long he can pitch. He had a light bullpen session Monday without the protective bandage he had been wearing and said he was able to throw all his pitches without limitations.

"It's just normal," he said. "It's good, and being in the cold will actually help because I won't get sweaty that much and create the softness in the skin. So it'll be dry and everything should be okay."

MEDICAL MATTERS: CF B.J. Upton (sore lower back) went 0-for-2 with a walk for Class A Charlotte in the second game of his scheduled 10-day rehab assignment. Maddon said Upton wants to accelerate the schedule but for now it remains the same, with a projected return during the April 20-22 home series. … DH Luke Scott was out again due to a mild strain of his left hamstring.

MISCELLANY: With the win over Justin Verlander, the Rays improved to 7-7 with six no-decisions with facing reigning Cy Young Award winners. … The balk that gave Detroit a fifth-inning run was the result of miscommunication on whether a pickoff play was on (as RHP James Shields thought) or off (as 3B Evan Longoria thought). … OF/C Stephen Vogt made his first major-league start at DH. … Tony Tufano, the 72-year-old victim in Matt Bush's March 22 DUI hit-and-run case, was released from a Fort Myers hospital Wednesday, using a walker.

Comments
Alex Cobb and Logan Morrison have ex-Ray vision. Hereís what they see.

Alex Cobb and Logan Morrison have ex-Ray vision. Hereís what they see.

ST. PETERSBURG — Absolutely, Alex Cobb was saying over the phone, it's going to be weird pitching Tuesday against the Rays.The organization that he owes so much for rearing him since high school, standing by him through assorted injuries, enabl...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays win on Carlos Gomezís walkoff home run

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays win on Carlos Gomezís walkoff home run

Carlos Gomez, who had been struggling, delivers a two-run, walkoff home run as the Rays sweep the Twins for the first time at Tropicana Field. Rick Stroud discusses the moment and the celebration that followed Gomez's first career walkoff hit in toda...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Rays are suddenly swinging hot bats, but will it last?

Rays are suddenly swinging hot bats, but will it last?

ST. PETERSBURG — Good pitching and hitting go hand in glove, but the Rays did not look like a team that could swing the bats very well until this completed homestand.In their series sweep over the Twins, Tampa Bay scored 8, 10 and 8 runs. ...
Published: 04/22/18
Rick Stroudís takeaways from Rays-Twins

Rick Stroudís takeaways from Rays-Twins

–Yonny Chirinos may be the Rays fourth starter, but it seems to be in name only. He was lifted after pitching 4 2/3 innings against the Twin on Sunday, the shortest start of his career and his second-shortest appearance.  "Going into the g...
Published: 04/22/18
Raysí Carlos Gomez hits two-run walkoff homer to beat Twins for series sweep

Raysí Carlos Gomez hits two-run walkoff homer to beat Twins for series sweep

ST. PETERSBURG — With every swing, there is a chance Carlos Gomez is going to do something extraordinary with the baseball bat.He may swing so violently that he spins himself into the ground as if he were an oil drill. Or, you could see him sna...
Published: 04/22/18
For starters: Rays vs. Twins, going for the first series sweep of the season, 1:10 p.m.

For starters: Rays vs. Twins, going for the first series sweep of the season, 1:10 p.m.

Rays pitcher Yonny Chirinos is no longer just part of a bullpen day, he's the No. 4 starter and who goes to the mound at 1:10 p.m. against Phil Hughes to try to help Tampa Bay attempt to complete a three-game sweep of the Twins.Catcher Wilson Ramos g...
Published: 04/22/18
Rays thoughts are with ex-teammate Danny Farquhar

Rays thoughts are with ex-teammate Danny Farquhar

Members of the Rays organization sent their thoughts and prayers to former teammate Danny Farquhar, who was hospitalized Saturday night in Chicago in stable but critical condition after suffering a brain hemorrhage caused by a ruptured aneurysm.Farqu...
Published: 04/22/18
Rays on Sunday: 1:10 vs. Twins

Rays on Sunday: 1:10 vs. Twins

Sunday vs. Twins1:10, Tropicana FieldTV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 760-AM (Spanish)Tickets: $20-$300; available at Tropicana Field box office, raysbaseball.com, surcharge of up to $5 within five hours of game.Promotion: Mascot socks for kids 14 a...
Published: 04/22/18
Rays Journal: Team effort pays off in 10-1 win over Twins

Rays Journal: Team effort pays off in 10-1 win over Twins

ST. PETERSBURG – Let's be clear here, the Rays still have a long way to go, and a lot of ground to make up.But seeing them play like they did Saturday in beating the Twins 10-1, putting on a solid all-around show in cobbling their first three-g...
Published: 04/21/18
Updated: 04/22/18
Marc Topkinís takeaways from Raysí 10-1 Saturday win over Twins

Marc Topkinís takeaways from Raysí 10-1 Saturday win over Twins

* Is it time to take the leap and believe this is the real Blake Snell? He talked a good game this spring and pitched well in his debut, but that rough second outing raised old doubts. But a good outing in Chicago and two dominant ones on the homesta...
Published: 04/21/18