Sunday, July 3, 2022

Rays place Andrew Kittredge on injured list as Tampa Bay’s closer could be out until All-Star break

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USATSI

The Tampa Bay Rays could be without closer Andrew Kittredge for the remainder of the first half of the season after placing him on the injured list on Thursday because of elbow discomfort. Kittredge is expected to undergo an operation to remove a loose body from his elbow, according to Marc Topkin. That procedure is expected to sideline him for at least a month, meaning he might not make it back before the start of the All-Star break on July 18.

Kittredge, 32, only recently returned from a stint on the injured list after dealing with back issues. He had pitched twice since, running his seasonal totals to a 3.15 ERA (112 ERA+) and a 7.00 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 20 innings pitched.

Kittredge, who made the All-Star Game last year for the first time in his career, is the latest notable member of the Rays bullpen to wind up on the shelf, joining Nick Anderson, Pete Fairbanks, JT Chargois, and J.P. Feyereisen. The Rays are also without key starters  Tyler Glasnow and Shane Baz, which has caused the team to use its organizational depth to fill out its pitching staff.

The Rays recalled Calvin Faucher, a righty from Triple-A, to take Kittredge’s spot on the active roster. Faucher made his big-league debut earlier this season and was originally acquired as part of last summer’s Nelson Cruz trade. 

Faucher rejoins a Rays bullpen that currently employs four pitchers (Jason Adam, Luke Bard, Shawn Armstrong, Ralph Garza Jr.) who have joined the organization since the start of March. 

With Kittredge out, the Rays figure to approach the ninth inning with a committee mindset. Ryan Thompson, Colin Poche, and Brooks Raley are tied for second on the staff in saves with three apiece. 

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