Monday, July 4, 2022

Rays’ Andrew Kittredge to undergo Tommy John surgery as Tampa Bay loses closer for year

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USATSI

The Tampa Bay Rays will be without closer Andrew Kittredge for the remainder of the season and likely the first half of next year after it was discovered that he’ll require Tommy John surgery, according to Marc Topkin. Kittredge had been placed on the injured list on Thursday with an eye on him missing a month after undergoing an elbow operation that would remove a loose body from his arm. Clearly the damage was worse than originally believed.

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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