Tag: Jeremy Hellickson

Jeremy Hellickson Accepts Phillies’ Qualifying Offer: Contract Details, Reaction

After having his best season while with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2016, Jeremy Hellickson has decided to extend that partnership by accepting the team’s $17.2 million qualifying offer.  

The Phillies announced the news on Monday after Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball first reported the decision.

Hellickson’s 2016 season flew under the radar because the Phillies were bad, but he quietly turned in the best season of his seven-year career.

One of the big keys for Hellickson’s success last season was staying healthy, which has been a problem for him since 2014, and something he acknowledged in September. 

“I’ve felt good every time out,” Hellickson said, via Corey Seidman of CSNPhilly.com. “Felt good in between starts. I’m recovering like I was early in my career.”

Hellickson doesn’t have top-of-the-rotation stuff with a fastball that FanGraphs clocked at an average of 90.0 mph in 2016, but he’s able to find different ways to succeed without posting gaudy strikeout numbers. 

His ground-ball percentage each of the last two seasons has been over 40 percent, per FanGraphs. The difference between his 2015 and 2016 performances was he got out of the hitter-friendly confines afforded by the Arizona Diamondbacks in Chase Field. 

With the Phillies still in a rebuilding mode but boasting talent at the MLB level like Maikel Franco and Odubel Herrera with more coming through the pipeline, like shortstop J.P. Crawford, it’s not inconceivable that there will be a return to relevance soon. 

Starting pitching was an area the Phillies were severely lacking last season. Hellickson and Jerad Eickhoff were the only pitchers to make at least 25 starts and total over 135 innings.

For Hellickson, still just 29 years old, remaining with a franchise that helped him turn in his best season as they continue to add talent and get better makes sense. He will be a stabilizing force in the rotation for the Phillies as they continue to look for those key pieces that will help them become a dominant force in the National League East. 

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Playing Fact or Fiction with All of MLB’s Hottest Week 15 Buzz, Rumors

Trade season is upon us, and while the Boston Red Sox have been the most aggressive team thus far, swinging deals for a starting pitcher (Drew Pomeranz) and reliever (Brad Ziegler) in recent weeks, the rest of baseball is sure to catch up in no time.

After all, the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline will be here before you know it. Considering how quickly the All-Star break seemed to arrive, the 11 shopping days that teams have left will pass in the blink of an eye.

That doesn’t leave much time to answer some burning questions.

Is a top prospect really untouchable? Will a recent trade preclude a contender from swinging another deal? Will an internal power struggle cost a team the chance to retool on the fly?

We’ll hit on all that and more in this week’s edition of fact or fiction. 

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Jeremy Hellickson Trade Rumors: Latest News, Speculation on Phillies SP

With the Philadelphia Phillies (43-50) likely falling out of postseason contention after a surprisingly strong start to the season, the team is likely to sell before the trade deadline, with starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson a potential trade chip.

Continue for updates.

Marlins Among Teams Interested in Hellickson 

Monday, July 18

Hellickson is reportedly on the “radar” of the Miami Marlins as they target starting pitchers before the August 1 MLB trade deadline, according to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com.

Hellickson appears to have several suitors. The Boston Red Sox, prior to trading for Drew Pomeranz, reportedly scouted the Phillies pitcher, per Jon Morosi of MLB Network. And Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly noted, “Plenty of teams are looking for a back-end, veteran starter like Hellickson and he is very much available.”

Jayson Stark of ESPN also told 97.5 The Fanatic that the Phillies “have received interest on Hellickson.”

Even Hellickson acknowledged he was aware of the trade rumors, per Salisbury:

Yeah, it’s on my mind, just when I see it on Twitter or talk to you guys about it. But other than that, I’m focused every day doing what I have to do to get ready for my next start. Like I’ve said all along, I love it here. I’d love to be here the rest of the year, but obviously I’ve been through it before and know that side of the game. But, yeah, my focus is on here and my next start right now. 

When or if [a trade] happens, I’ll deal with it then. But right now my focus is here.

Hellickson, 29, is 6-7 this season in 19 starts with a 4.03 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 98 strikeouts in 111.2 innings.

He’s unlikely to bring the Phillies a huge package of prospects as a back-end starter, but for a rebuilding club with plenty of young players who could benefit from the experience of playing regularly in the majors, moving him makes a lot of sense. 

And for a team that is looking to bolster the rotation without breaking the bank, Hellickson is a viable option. Add it all up, and it seems likely that Philly will move the veteran starter before August 1.


You can follow Timothy Rapp on Twitter.

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Jeremy Hellickson to Phillies: Latest Trade Details, Comments and Reaction

The Philadelphia Phillies have acquired right-handed starter Jeremy Hellickson from the Arizona Diamondbacks for right-handed prospect Sam McWilliams, according to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports.

The Phillies finished with MLB’s worst record in large part due to pitching. Their starters posted a combined 5.23 ERA and allowed batters a .290 average in 2015—both second-worst in the majors. 

They’re in the midst of a massive overhaul with starters. They traded ace Cole Hamels to the Texas Rangers before the non-waiver deadline and declined the 2016 option on Cliff Lee at season’s end. 

Hellickson, however, isn’t exactly a highly sought-after commodity like he was earlier in his career when he was the Rookie of the Year. 

He was baggage to the Diamondbacks, who traded for him last winter, and the six-year veteran mustered just nine wins in 27 starts with a 4.62 ERA and 1.329 WHIP. 

Hellickson is in the final year of arbitration eligibility after collecting $4.275 million in 2014, per Spotrac

The Phillies compete in a National League East that features two of the baseball’s best rotations—the New York Mets and Washington Nationals—meaning they’ll need a lot more than damaged goods from the sub-.500 Diamondbacks if they seek a path out of the league cellar.

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Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Los Angeles Angels Live Blog: Instant Reactions

The Arizona Diamondbacks are leading the Los Angeles Angels 1-0 Tuesday in a West Coast interleague battle. 

Jeremy Hellickson (4-3, 5.29 ERA) is on the hill for the Diamondbacks and has allowed two hits while striking out two. Meanwhile, Garrett Richards (6-4, 3.97 ERA) has been giving up contact, but is managing pretty well. His run allowed is unearned after two passed balls by his catcher Carlos Perez.

After a rough start to the season, Hellickson has yet to lose a start since April 26. He has also been successful in his career against Arizona. He is 3-2 with a 2.73 ERA in five career starts, including 2-0 at Angel Stadium of Anaheim with 11.1 scoreless innings, according to ESPN Stats & Information

The Diamondbacks have been hot in the last month. Since May 18, their .593 winning percentage is fifth-best in the MLB, according to ESPN. They come into this game winners of four straight, including a 7-3 win over the Angels Monday. 

A win would put Arizona’s winning percentage at .500 for the season. 

Los Angeles has underwhelmed this season, sitting at 32-32 and five games behind Houston for the American League West lead. The team enters Tuesday’s game the loser of eight of its last 12. The offense is certainly a culprit as the Angels rank 26th in baseball with a .241 team batting average. 

Tune in here for live updates and reaction. Join the conversation by posting in the comments section.

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Projecting the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-Man Rotation for 2015

The Arizona Diamondbacks enter 2015 with much uncertainty regarding their starting rotation.

According to the depth chart, Josh Collmenter is listed as the team’s top starting pitcher. He is followed by Rubby De La Rosa, Jeremy Hellickson, Allen Webster and Vidal Nuno.

Out of the five listed, only Collmenter began the season with Arizona last year, first appearing out of the bullpen. 

Patrick Corbin will likely serve as the D-Backs ace but is not projected to return until at least midseason from Tommy John surgery. Daniel Hudson and Bronson Arroyo’s statuses are also unknown coming off injury.

And then there’s Archie Bradley, Arizona’s top prospect who has yet to make an impact at the big league level. Overall, the D-Backs rotation is clearly up in the air.

With that said, here is a projection for the Diamondbacks starting rotation in 2015.

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Jeremy Hellickson Faces Uphill Battle in Salvaging Career Post-Trade

We all knew it was a matter of when, not if, Jeremy Hellickson‘s days with the Tampa Bay Rays were officially over.

Late Friday night, ESPN reported that the Arizona Diamondbacks were to be his new home, as they dealt minor leaguers Andrew Velazquez and Justin Williams for the 2011 American League Rookie of the Year.

Initial reactions whenever a pitcher is dealt out of the American League—let alone the homer-friendly AL East—is that greener pastures certainly are waiting.

Hellickson needs those greener pastures, as he has pitched to a less-than-stellar 5.05 ERA over his last 44 starts. Of those 44, 13 occurred after offseason elbow surgery forced him to miss the first three months of the 2014 season. 

That is hardly a small sample size and something that seems to indicate his ROY form is far in the rearview mirror.

But his National League ERA is going to start shrinking like a balloon with a small hole in its side, right? Diamondbacks general manager Dave Stewart certainly seems to think so, as reported by Jack Magruder of Fox Sports Arizona.

“He is going to be outstanding here,” Stewart said. “I always give the guys moving from the American League to the National League a plus. Moving out of the American League East gives him another plus.”

Don’t count on it. Sure, the average NL starter’s ERA over the last three years was 0.27 runs lower than their AL counterparts, according to ESPN.com statistics and some quick division.

Hellickson‘s problem is the NL West is not the safest of landing zones, especially when you’re arriving at a team boasting one of the worst offenses in the sport.

In 2014, the Diamondbacks scored just 615 runs with a .678 OPS, good for No. 25 and No. 24 in MLB, respectively.

OK, so run support will not come easily for Hellickson, but what about his home ballpark, Chase Field? Leaving Tropicana Field has to be a plus, right?

Unfortunately, there isn’t much reprieve here, either.

“As for Chase Field, that doesn’t suit fly-ball pitchers well,” wrote Matt Snyder of CBSSports.com. “Only six ballparks saw more homers last season, and only Coors Field yielded more runs. On the flip-side, Hellickson is coming from Tropicana Field, which was 25th in homers and 15th in runs.”

When looking at the rest of the division, the picture gets far darker.

As Snyder references above, Chase Field allowed the seventh-most homers in baseball in 2014. Dodger Stadium landed at fifth, and Coors Field was second only to Yankee Stadium.

About half of the worst parks in MLB to be a fly-ball pitcher in happen to be where Hellickson will pitch the majority of his games.

It’s not all doom and gloom for him, however.

AT&T Park in San Francisco and Petco Park in San Diego are both safe havens for any pitcher, and a fresh start in a league where the threat of a designated hitter is long gone can only be a positive thing.

Case in point, someone who Jeremy Hellickson always reminded me of is former Diamondbacks hurler Ian Kennedy.

Tossed aside after early struggles with the Yankees, Kennedy found a home in Arizona and pitched extremely well at times.

Similar to Kennedy, Hellickson is a fly-ball pitcher who relies on good control and a feel for changing speeds to succeed. Neither has what would be confused for anything close to top-end velocity.

If Hellickson can follow a similar path, Arizona may just have a diamond in the rough that it can try to polish up and save from a downward spiral of a once-bright, young career.

If not, we may have seen the last of him as an impact pitcher at the MLB level, and the low-risk, medium-reward attempt will have failed.

Ultimately, this is a move that makes a lot of sense for a team with the No. 27 ERA in baseball last season (4.44). It did not give up a prospect in the deal that could truly damage the farm, and it desperately needs to build a young rotation for the future.

There’s no reason to fault Arizona for what it pulled off Friday night; it is just very unlikely that the final results will be glowingly positive.

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Jeremy Hellickson to Diamondbacks: Latest Trade, Details and Reaction

After struggling to find consistency with their pitching staff, the Arizona Diamondbacks moved to remedy the problem on Friday night. Jeremy Hellickson was traded to the Diamondbacks for minor league outfielder Justin Williams and infielder Andrew Velazquez, who will be headed the other way:

The Diamondbacks provide full details on the trade. 

In 13 starts last year, Hellickson went 1-5 with a 4.52 ERA. The 27-year-old was among the Rays’ best starting pitchers in 2011 and 2012, but his numbers have taken a tumble in each of the last two years. Maybe a move away from Tampa can help Hellickson regain his old form.

Baseball Prospectus rated Williams as the ninth-best prospect in Arizona’s system when the regular season began. With an ETA of 2017, it will be years before the Rays see a return on their investment.

Andrew Velazquez doesn’t quite have the same pedigree, but Baseball America‘s Ben Badler thinks the young middle infielder could become a dependable option:

Velazquez had a slash line of .290/.367/.428 with nine home runs, 56 runs batted in and 50 stolen bases in 134 games with the Single-A South Bend Silver Hawks in 2014.

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Rays Spring Training Report: Full Update of Surprises, Busts and Injuries

The Tampa Bay Rays are two weeks away from the start of the 2014 season.

They entered spring training looking for a fifth starter, final reliever and final bench player to fill their Opening Day roster.

Even though the roster was essentially set before Grapefruit League began, there is still a lot of incentive for players to put forward great effort in the exhibition games.

The primary reason is that you never know when a need will arise that will require a minor league player to move up to the majors. Jeremy Hellickson’s surgery is a perfect example of a position that was filled that turns into an immediate priority need to fill.

Players not on the 40-man roster or in the organization’s farm system utilize spring training to try to earn a job. It is a job interview for many players with only few openings available annually.

Spring training also marks the highest level of optimism for franchises and fan bases.

For the Rays, there are high expectations set for new acquisitions including catcher Ryan Hanigan and relievers Grant Balfour and Heath Bell. There are even higher expectations for returning players to improve from the previous season, such as pitchers Chris Archer and Matt Moore.

On the other hand, there are lesser known prospects that have low levels of expectation that put together great performances in the spring. Stephen Vogt was one of those players for the years a few years ago in spring training and earned himself a spot on the Opening Day roster after an injury to Luke Scott.

Based on the level of expectation comes the titles of surprise players and busts in spring training.

Here is an update of the surprises, busts and injuries so far this spring for the Rays.

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5 Big-Name Starting Pitchers in Danger of Losing Their Jobs

Most teams are paying their big-name starting pitchers a fortune to provide 200 innings this season. But for a few of those pitchers, their performance is crippling teams that hope to contend, and that brings their job security into question.

Some of these pitchers have long track records that afford them a longer leash. They may not lose their jobs based on a bad first month, but if the struggles continue into June, teams may begin looking for alternatives.

Some of these pitchers will turn it around and finish just fine, but others will either be demoted, traded or pushed to the bullpen.

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