|ESPN.com: Baseball||[Print without images]|
Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Jeremy Hellickson will miss the first six to eight weeks of the season after having arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow, the team announced Monday.
|Jeremy Hellickson was 12-10 with a 5.17 ERA last season for the Rays.|
Hellickson, a right-hander who settled his arbitration case for $3.67 million on Jan. 17, had the procedure last week after his arm "locked up" during a second bullpen session of the year.
"I guess a lot of people were doubting me toward the end of last year, so I was motivated to get back out there and do what I know I can do," Hellickson said Monday during a conference call with reporters. "It's frustrating to go through this and have to miss a month, month and a half. But I'm just going to rehab, work hard and try to get back out there as soon as possible."
Hellickson, the 2011 AL Rookie of the Year, was 12-10 with a 5.17 ERA last season for the Rays. He also lowered his walk rate -- only 50 in 174 innings pitched -- and increased his strikeout rate (135), while opponents hit .333 with runners in scoring position.