Jeremy Hellickson‘s first two seasons in the major leagues have been quite eventful. As a rookie, he went 13-10 with a 2.95 ERA on his way to the AL Rookie of the Year award. His second season wasn’t too shabby either as he went just 10-11 but with a 3.10 ERA and came away with some hardware once again, this time an AL Gold Glove Award. As Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times noted, Hellickson, at 25 years old, became the youngest pitcher since Bret Saberhagen in 1985 to win a Gold Glove and also joined Fernando Valenzuela as the only pitchers with both a Gold Glove and the Rookie of the Year award. But for Hellickson, what really exhilarated him on Sunday as he received his award was that he’s following in the path of his boyhood idol, Greg Maddux.
“The Cy Young is definitely at the top of the list,” Hellickson said. “But I grew up watching Maddux win all of them. I’m really honored to win it, and I wasn’t expecting it, but it’s really something awesome to win and I like winning it.
“It’s something we work hard on. It was exciting to get that call and go to the banquet and see all those other guys there, perennial Gold Glovers. This is just a huge honor.”
It was exciting to see Hellickson win the award, and the biggest question now is what will he do next? The expectations are as high as ever for Hellickson as he slots in as the Rays’ number two starter now, and if he comes through, who knows what award will be waiting for him at the end of the year.
He’s just not been as frisky as we normally see him,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “We just need to be patient. … I’m not reading into anything.”
Every pitcher has bad start and even a couple in a row, and the Rays are confident that Price will get back on track before long. As Sports Illusrated’s Jay Jaffe put it, “It’s worth remembering that it’s just one game out of 162 in a long season. We’ll have a whole lot more to overreact to once it’s all said and done.”