Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher and reigning American League Rookie of the Year Jeremy Hellickson is dealing with a head injury due to an incident during batting practice before the team's game on Wednesday.
UPDATE: Wednesday, April 11 at 4:40 p.m. EST
While everyone around him might be worried, Hellickson apparently feels as strong as ever.
#Rays Hellickson says he's "fine" and, "I'll be out there Saturday."— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) April 11, 2012
Everyone in Tampa can rest easy. They have the pitching depth to withstand an injury here or there, but if Hellickson's injury was a problem--like he suffered a concussion or something--things would have gotten a little dark around the Sunshine State.
UPDATE: Wednesday, April 11 at 4:00 p.m. EST
Following the Rays' victory against the Tigers, it was reported by Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times that Hellickson was back in the clubhouse following a series of tests.
#Rays Hellickson returned to the clubhouse and is OK after a battery of test. Will have some follow up test tomorrow.— RMooneyTrib (@RMooneyTrib) April 11, 2012
All things considered, that sounds like very good news for Hellickson and the team. Whether he is able to make his next scheduled start on Saturday remains to be seen.
According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, Hellickson was taken out of Comerica Stadium in Detroit on a cart:
Appears #Rays Hellickson taken out of stadium on a cart— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) April 11, 2012
From what #Rays players are saying, Hellickson was hit on side of head by a ball— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) April 11, 2012
In another post, Topkin spoke to Rays manager Joe Maddon, who said that Hellickson remained conscious and was taken to the hospital:
#Rays Hellickson was not bleeding + did not lose consciousness, Maddon said. Taken to area hospital.— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) April 11, 2012
The most important part of this whole thing is that Hellickson remained conscious and did not suffer a laceration. It will be interesting to see what the diagnosis ends up being.
On a much less significant note, the Rays can withstand the loss of Hellickson if he has to miss time due to the injury. Their rotation is as deep as any in baseball, and they have options to choose from, either in the bullpen (Wade Davis) or in the minors.