Jeremy Hellickson injury: Elbow surgery will keep Rays' starter out until mid- to late-May

Mike Ehrmann

Hellickson will miss significant time next season after having arthroscopic surgery on his pitching elbow.

Rays right hander Jeremy Hellickson will be out until mid- to late-May due to an elbow injury that required arthroscopic surgery, as the Tampa Bay Times' Marc Topkin reports.

Hellickson, who will turn 27 in April, struggled last season in his third consecutive campaign with at least 170 innings pitched.

In 31 starts last year, he put up a 5.17 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP after cruising through the first two seasons of his career. From 2011 to 2012, Hellickson had a 3.02 ERA in 366 innings for the Rays. Most of his peripheral stats suggest he was the victim of some bad luck let season, and that he was right around his career norms in regard to the things he could actually control.

Hellickson's injury opens up a spot in the Tampa Bay rotation, and it seems that prospect Jake Odorizzi has the inside track on the job. However, Topkin suggests the team could consider Alex Colome, Enny Romero, or an acquisition for a starting pitcher to fill the spot as well.

Romero and Colome are often considered the Rays top prospects, though Odorizzi has already pitched in the Rays' rotation and projects as a long-term option for the back end of their rotation. Romero and Colome could ultimately end up in the bullpen.

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