Rays’ Jeremy Hellickson throws another live BP session in rehab process

Jeremy Hellickson is recovering from a right elbow arthroscopic surgery he had in January.

Kim Klement/Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Jeremy Hellickson threw 35 pitches in a live batting practice session Sunday, with an eye toward throwing a simulated game Wednesday in Port Charlotte, Fla.

Hellickson, recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow in January, threw mostly fastballs in addition to about five or six curveballs and change-ups each in his rehab process’ latest step. This was his second live batting practice session, following Thursday’s outing when he threw about 35 pitches as well.

He’s hoping for a return to the Rays’ rotation in late June or sometime before the All-Star break begins July 14.

"It took a little longer than last time to get warmed up," Hellickson said. "I was feeling it from the last one. But it ended up pretty well, and I was happy with how it went again."

Rays utility man Sean Rodriguez, plus infielders Ben Zobrist and Cole Figueroa took swings against Hellickson in Sunday’s session. Zobrist, on the disabled list with a dislocated left thumb since May 15, swung well and lifted a fly ball to deep center field at one point.

Zobrist could make rehab starts for Single-A Charlotte this week before returning to the Rays’ lineup when they begin a series against the Boston Red Sox next Friday at Fenway Park.

Hellickson, meanwhile, continues his work back.

"I felt good, but not as good as the last one," said Hellickson, who was 12-10 with a 5.17 ERA in 32 appearances last season. "But it was a good step. It ended up the way I wanted."

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