The Tampa Bay Rays will begin the 2014 season without starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson.
Hellickson will miss the first 6-8 weeks of the regular season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow, according to multiple reports. Hellickson had the procedure last week, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Hellickson struggled for much of 2013, posting a 12-10 record and 5.17 ERA in 32 appearances (31 starts). Hellickson, agent Scott Boras and Rays team officials said at the end and after the season, however, that they did not anything was wrong with the right-hander physically.
Hellickson recently started working out in his native Iowa, and something reportedly flared up while he was throwing. Dr. Koco Eaton performed last week’s “minor” procedure, during which loose bodies were removed from Hellickson’s elbow.
The Rays are expected to feature one of the best rotations in baseball this season, with Hellickson joining the likes of David Price, Matt Moore, Alex Cobb and Chris Archer. It’s likely that Jake Odorizzi will fill Hellickson’s spot while the righty is sidelined.
Hellickson, who turns 27 in April, settled his arbitration case with the Rays on Jan. 17. He is set to earn $3.67 million in 2014.