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Rays

Hellickson targeting Saturday

Staff
Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 06:56 PM
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -

RHP Jeremy Hellickson threw 60 pitches in a bullpen session at "probably 80 or 90 percent" before Monday's game against the Royals, and manager Joe Maddon said if all goes well Hellickson should start Saturday against the Tigers.

Hellickson, who is on the disabled list, hasn't pitched since June 14 because of shoulder fatigue. He said he probably threw a few more pitches than planned, but he "felt really good and was throwing everything."

"(Today) will probably have a big say in what they do, too," Hellickson said. "But right now I feel ready."

Hellickson, who grew up a few hours from Kansas City in Des Moines, Iowa, will throw again Wednesday.

Conrad feeling comfortable

INF Brooks Conrad has visited Kansas City so frequently lately — twice in less than two weeks with two different teams — that a friend even turned it into a joke.

"I have a friend who was telling me I might as well buy a house here because I'm here so much," Conrad said.

The circumstances around this visit are certainly different than last time.

After being courted by Maddon before the season started, Conrad joined the Brewers. He struggled in limited time, batting just .075 (3-for-40) with two home runs.

The Rays picked up Conrad off waivers, and he quickly has proved an asset. In just six at-bats heading into Monday, he already had as many hits (three) as he did with the Brewers. He also had two doubles and four RBIs in the Rays' 7-3 win Sunday against the Phillies.

"He's the kind of guy that looks for opportunity," Maddon said. "He's a very eager player. I think it's a combination of how much he knew that we wanted him and then there's opportunity."

Conrad also made a small adjustment to his swing while in the minors with the Brewers organization. He noticed he was getting his hands under the ball too much and adjusted accordingly. Plus, he said, he fits in better with the Rays than with the Brewers. He started at third base in Monday's game.

"I hope I can keep it up and keep helping the team because I really like it here," Conrad said.

All-Star game selections

The All-Star game will be played in Kansas City this year, so it's only natural Maddon fielded questions about his team's prospective All-Star representatives. He said his team's strongest candidates are closer Fernando Rodney and starter David Price. Rodney entered Monday with 21 saves and a 1.07 ERA, while Price is 10-4 with a 2.95 ERA.

"I think Rodney and Price are probably on almost everybody's ballots," Maddon said.

Scott hits two HRs on rehab

Injured DH Luke Scott celebrated his 34th birthday in style Monday, hitting two home runs and driving in four while on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Durham.

Scott has been out since June 8 with a back problem. Maddon said Scott most likely will return sometime after Wednesday's series finale against the Royals.

"He hit the ball well in BP a couple days ago in Philadelphia," Maddon said. "The guys tell me he was just mashing it, so maybe that's not a surprise."

In other injury news, reliever Kyle Farnsworth's rehab appearance was rained out for a second straight day at Class A Charlotte. Instead, he will make two rehab assignments at Triple-A Durham. Farnsworth has been out all season with a right elbow injury.

Jayson Jenks

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