Hellickson making progress toward Majors

Righty could be ready following next start in extended spring camp

April 4th, 2018

ATLANTA -- Nationals right-hander continues to increase his stamina and pitch count at the team's complex in West Palm Beach, Fla. He made his latest start at extended spring camp this past Monday and threw about six innings and 92 pitches, according to manager Dave Martinez, who added Hellickson is scheduled to start again Saturday.
"We want him to be consistent," Martinez said. "And stretch him out so that he's ready to go."
How soon Hellickson will be ready to go in the Majors remains unclear. He was a late signing with the Nationals with only about a week left in Spring Training, so he has been playing catch-up to prepare for the season. They have not committed to doing it just yet, but the Nats could call upon Hellickson to replace A.J. Cole in their rotation after Cole's disastrous debut Tuesday night where he gave up 10 runs on 10 hits.
But it is possible the Nationals will not need a fifth starter during this turn in the rotation. They have an off-day scheduled for Friday and there is snow in the forecast in Washington on Saturday that has that game potentially in jeopardy. Perhaps the Nats could skip the No. 5 spot the next time around and then turn to Hellickson if he is ready when a fifth starter is needed.
"We haven't made a decision yet," Martinez said. "We've been checking the weather, the weather is not supposed to be so good, so in the next day or two, we'll probably re-evaluate and see what we're going to do."