4:54 pm: Conley has tested positive for the virus, reports Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link). Fortunately, he’s currently asymptomatic, but the quarantine period could threaten Conley’s availability for the Rays’ Division Series that begins next week.
11:47 am: Right-hander Andrew Kittredge has been reinstated from the Rays’ injured list after a 10-day minimum absence due to a neck strain. To make room on the active roster, Tampa Bay placed left-hander Adam Conley on the COVID-19 injury list.
After four inconsistent years as a reliever, starter, and opener with the Rays, Kittredge rejoined the team on a minor league deal, looking to rebound after a 2020 season shortened by a UCL injury. The results have been startling, as Kittredge has one of the best members of the very strong Tampa bullpen and will likely be a big factor in the team’s postseason pitching plans.
Kittredge has a 1.55 ERA/2.96 SIERA over 69 2/3 innings, mostly working out of the bullpen with a few opener appearances on his resume. As per Statcast, no pitcher in baseball has a higher chase rate than Kittredge, which has translated into an above-average 27.5% strikeout rate to go along with an excellent 5.6% walk rate. The righty has also continued to keep the ball on the ground, with a 54% groundball rate that stands as a new career high.
Conley will be sidelined for a quarantine period if he has tested positive for the virus, though there isn’t yet any indication if Conley has COVID-19 or if his placement is a precaution due to symptoms or contact tracing. (As always, teams are not obliged to reveal whether or not a player’s stint on the COVID-IL is due to a positive test.) After signing a minors deal with the Rays in May, Conley has a 2.29 ERA/4.01 SIERA over 19 2/3 relief innings.