Hellickson back on track for regular season

After missing start with tired arm, righty feels strong throwing 75 pitches in return

Hellickson back on track for regular season

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- After skipping his last start, D-backs right-hander Jeremy Hellickson threw 75 pitches in Saturday's 10-5 loss to the Royals and pronounced his arm healthy and ready for the start of the season.

"I felt pretty fresh and strong for the most part," Hellickson said.

"I thought his stuff was good," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "Used his offspeed stuff and looked like he confused some hitters, so that's what we're looking for."

Hellickson has one spring start left before the start of the regular season. He will look get his pitch count up to 90.

In four starts this spring, Hellickson has only had one poor outing, when he allowed three runs on seven hits in 1 2/3 innings against the Indians.

"I'd like to not give up as many hits as I've given up two of the four starts anyway," said Hellickson, who allowed eight in 4 1/3 on Saturday. "The good thing is I don't think too many of them were hard hit. Curveball still has a ways to go, but I think the fastball and fastball command is pretty much where I want it. The changeup wasn't bad today. It was a little better last time, but for the most part it was down today which is all I can ask for."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.