Rays tracking Hellickson in Minors

Rays tracking Hellickson in Minors

MINNEAPOLIS -- Due to the Rays' abundance of off-days this month, right-hander Jeremy Hellickson was optioned to the Minor Leagues last weekend in order to continue pitching while the Rays go with a four-man rotation.

Hellickson, who began the season on the disabled list due to right elbow surgery, started for Double-A Montgomery Monday night and will start for Class A Advanced Charlotte Sunday at Clearwater.

"I guess he did OK his last time out," said Rays manager Joe Maddon when asked what he would like to see from Hellickson on Sunday. "Nothing specifically, just that he's healthy and well. [Bullpen catcher Scott Cursi] called him the other day and he said that he was really sharp. And seems like everything is trending in the right direction. Just so that his velocity numbers are good and that his arm feels well. Nothing specifically."

Hellickson went 4 1/3 innings, allowing one run and six hits while striking out two in his only start for the Rays this season on July 8.

Maddon did not have an answer for when the rotation would be expanded to five pitchers and Hellickson would be put back into the rotation. He did allow that the decision would be made, "when we get home."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.