This news comes as a very unfortunate development for Kittredge and the team. The righty had been placed on the 15-day injured list just yesterday, with manager Kevin Cash telling reporters that Kittredge needed a procedure to remove a loose body from his elbow. Though he was expected to miss at least a month, it appears that further testing has revealed the situation is actually much more dire, with Kittredge now to miss the remainder of the season, and likely much of 2023 as well.
Last year was a tremendous breakout for the reliever, as he threw 71 2/3 innings with a 1.88 ERA, 27.3% strikeout rate, 5.3% walk rate and 53.5% ground ball rate. That success earned him a key role in the bullpen, as he eventually earned eight saves and seven holds. This year, he has been slowed by a few injuries, as he also spent time on the IL due to a back issue earlier this year. Through 20 frames on the season, his ERA has gone up to 3.15 while his strikeout rate has fallen all the way to 18.7%.
For Kittredge personally, it’s very unfortunate given his late-bloomer status. He didn’t make his major league debut until he was 27 and is currently 32 years old. He finished last season with three years and 70 days of service time, qualifying for arbitration for the first time. He and the team agreed to a $1.85MM salary for this year. With another season like he had in 2021, he could have earned himself a nice raise going forward. Unfortunately, this mostly lost season will limit him in that department.
For the Rays, it’s an unfortunate blow to a bullpen that has already taken a few punches this year. Nick Anderson, Pete Fairbanks, JT Chargois and Chris Mazza are all already on the 60-day IL due to significant injuries and will now be joined by Kittredge whenever the Rays need to open up a spot on the 40-man roster. They also recently lost J.P. Feyereisen to the 15-day IL. Despite missing those players as well as a bunch of starting pitchers, the club enters play tonight with a record of 34-23, placing them in the American League’s top Wild Card spot.