Rays Nation got a shock through its system this morning as we heard from Mark Topkin, Roger Mooney, and others that Jeremy Hellickson was hit on the side of the head by a batted ball during batting practice today at Comerica Park. Hellickson was not bleeding and remained conscious, but he is being taken to a local hospital for testing as a precaution. Hopefully he’ll be fine for his next scheduled start, which is Saturday afternoon at Fenway Park. If he’s unavailable, Wade Davis and Alex Cobb could be candidates to replace him.
One more piece of bad news before we get to the positives. Luke Scott is expected to miss at least the next 3 or 4 days with a hamstring strain. Scott went on the 15-day DL with a hamstring strain back in 2010 while a member of the Orioles (as Aaron Gleeman noted). The Rays are playing with a shorthanded roster for the moment, certainly not the ideal, but the Rays are the team in baseball best equipped to survive such a stretch thanks to their roster versatility.
Now to the good news. A couple of Rays out with back injuries are making progress in their rehab assignments. B.J. Upton went 0 for 2 in his first rehab game for High-A Charlotte before tweeeting
Felt great to be playing in a game again. Feel good, can’t wait to get back and help my teammates as soon as possible #Rays
— BJ Upton (@BJUPTON2) April 10, 2012
while Brandon Gomes has pitched very well in his first two relief appearances for Triple-A Durham, tossing 2.1 innings of no-hit, 1 walk ball while striking out 4. Both players should return to the big league roster over the next week and a half or so, with Stephen Vogt and Josh Lueke looking like the probable roster cuts.
Hopefully everything will work out with these four players and the Rays will be healthy before long. The Rays have gotten off to a nice 3-1 start this year, and with a healthy roster they’ll be even more of a force to reckoned with in the AL East.