The Rays right-hander got hit on the head with a batting-practice home run ball prior to Wednesday's game in Detroit. Early Friday, there remained a sliver of doubt that he might not be cleared to pitch. But after the Rays' 12-2 loss, the team announced that last year's American League Rookie of the Year would be making his second start of the season.
Because Hellickson suffered a head injury, he had to be cleared by a Major League Baseball doctor/consultant in order to play. Once he satisfied any doubts that he did not have any problems, Hellickson was cleared.
"I've felt normal the past couple of days," Hellickson said. "I was just waiting for the OK. ... I'm not sure what they were seeing to even think about holding me back."
Hellickson said he did appreciate MLB's policy that is in place to insure the safety of the players. But he added: "At the same time, I would have been upset if it were the other way around, because I feel great."