Helsley has been able to keep track of key individual metrics with the use of a Rapsodo pitching unit during his throwing sessions while spring training has been suspended, Mark Saxon of The Athletic reports.
A Rapsodo unit enables pitchers to track important performance data such as spin rate, shape and release point when engaging in any type of throwing, and Helsley utilized one throughout his offseason training in an effort to improve on what was a solid rookie campaign in 2019. The 25-year-old posted a 2.95 ERA across 36.2 innings over 24 appearances, and he followed it up with a 1.29 ERA in four Grapefruit League turns before spring training was suspended. During the ongoing shutdown, Helsley has utilized the Rapsodo to help him refine a changeup that he's attempting to add to a repertoire that already includes a high-90s fastball and 88 mph cutter, honing in on the ideal spin rate (1,500 revolutions per minute) and release point with the assistance of the unit. Helsley was thought to be in strong contention for save chances when play was paused, but the projected early July regular-season start date means closer Jordan Hicks (elbow) may be ready to return to game action within the first month of the campaign. Although that may ultimately relegate Helsley to a setup role for the majority of the abbreviated 2020 season, an enhanced arsenal should naturally still serve him well in that capacity.