Rays demote Hellickson to Class-A Charlotte

The SportsXchange

Tampa Bay pitcher Jeremy Hellickson's struggles have landed him at Class-A Charlotte.

The Rays demoted the former American League Rookie of the Year on Tuesday, and Hellickson clearly was not happy about the demotion.

He declined to comment when he left the Rays clubhouse saying only, "I'll let someone else tell you," the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Rays manager Joe Maddon said Hellickson will not pitch for the Stone Crabs and that the right-hander just needs a break.

"Just primarily to give him a little bit of a rest," Maddon said. "He's well physically; we just thought giving him a little bit of a break would be very important right now. Obviously the more recent performances have not been great. And the fact that he is not injured, we felt the next best thing was to give him a little bit of a break."

On Monday, Hellickson struggled again, failing to pitch through the third inning. He has not made it past five innings in any of his previous six starts.

LHP Jeff Beliveau was recalled from Triple-A and will be used out of the bullpen.

Hellickson might throw a couple of bullpen sessions while in Charlotte, Maddon said. But the plan is to call him back to the big-league club in early September.

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