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Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson demoted to Class A

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer

Jeremy Hellickson has been sent all the way down to Class A.
Jeremy Hellickson has been sent all the way down to Class A. (USATSI)

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Rays starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson was the Rookie of the Year in 2011. In 2013, he's headed back to Class A Charlotte, the club has announced.

This isn't to pitch, though. Instead, it's just where a roster spot was open. He's not going to appear in a game.

"Just primarily to give him a little bit of a rest,'' manager Joe Maddon said (via tampabay.com). "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.''

Hellickson will reportedly throw a bullpen session or two, but, again, no game action. The Class A thing isn't a punishment.

Also, rosters can expand on September 1, which is when Hellickson is expected to rejoin the Rays.

Hellickson, 26, is 10-8 with a 5.21 ERA and 1.35 WHIP this season. In the past two seasons combined he had a 3.02 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. Things have been especially bad of late, as Hellickson is 0-5 with a 9.00 ERA in his last six starts. He didn't even make it through three innings against the Royals Monday, allowing five runs on seven hits.

Reliever Jeff Beliveau has been recalled as a corresponding move. The Rays have David Price, Alex Cobb, Chris Archer and Roberto Hernandez in the rotation now and Matt Moore is expected to return September 3. Still, that leaves a hole for Saturday's game against the A's. Jake Odorizzi feels like the most likely candidate for that spot start.

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