The Rays put reliever Andrew Kittredge on the 15-day injured list this morning, recalling Calvin Faucher to take his spot on the active roster. Kittredge is dealing with right elbow discomfort, and he’s going to miss a fair bit of time.
Manager Kevin Cash told reporters (including Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times) the righty is likely to undergo a procedure to remove a loose body from his elbow. He’ll be out of action for at least a month, dealing another hit to a relief corps that lost J.P. Feyereisen last week and has been without Pete Fairbanks, Nick Anderson, JT Chargois and Chris Mazza for most or all of the season.
Kittredge had a stellar 2021 season, tossing 71 2/3 innings of 1.88 ERA ball as one of the club’s highest-leverage arms. He punched out a strong 27.3% of batters faced, induced grounders on more than half the batted balls against him and was one of the sport’s best strike-throwing relievers. Kittredge picked up a deserved All-Star nod for that work, but he’s not managed to replicate that success through the first couple months of this season.
In 20 innings, the 32-year-old has seen his ERA jump to 3.15 while his strikeout percentage has plummeted to 18.7%. Kittredge has still thrown plenty of strikes and been effective overall, but he’s seen his swing-and-miss and ground-ball rates take step backs relative to last year’s marks. He also missed a bit of time with back tightness last month, and his elbow issue seems likely to keep him out until after the All-Star Break.
Kittredge is playing this season on a $1.85MM salary after he and the club avoided arbitration. He’ll go through that process twice more before first qualifying for free agency after the 2024 campaign.