Rays reliever Kittredge to have Tommy John surgery

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MINNEAPOLIS — Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Andrew Kittredge, a 2021 All-Star, will have season-ending Tommy John elbow surgery in another blow to the team’s banged-up bullpen.

Manager Kevin Cash announced the news before the game in Minnesota on Friday night. The 32-year-old Kittredge went on the injured list on Thursday, but the initial expectation for treatment was a minor procedure to remove loose bodies in the elbow. After further examination, Kittredge will need the ligament replacement and likely more than a year to recover.

Kittredge had just returned on Sunday from a 17-game absence due to lower back tightness. Then after his second appearance since being reinstated from the injured list, he felt his arm lock up and couldn’t straighten it. Kittredge has five saves in eight attempts and a 3.15 ERA in 17 games.

The Rays have 11 pitchers on the injured list, including six relievers. Kittredge joins Nick Anderson, J.T. Chargois, Pete Fairbanks and J.P. Feyereisen as key late-inning options who are currently on the shelf. Anderson and Fairbanks have yet to pitch this season.

The Rays also placed their other 2021 All-Star, catcher Mike Zunino, on the injured list on Friday with inflammation in his left shoulder. He’d been playing through soreness for several weeks.

“It got to the point where it’s affecting everything a little bit, even catching, so definitely swinging,” Cash said. “Feel like we want to calm it down, and hopefully it’s a shorter stint.”

Zunino hit a career-high 33 home runs with an .860 OPS in 109 games last year. He’s batting just .148 this season with five homers a .499 OPS in 36 games.

Mariners sign RHP reliever Trevor Gott to 1-year contract

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SEATTLE — The Seattle Mariners have begun the process of bolstering their bullpen by signing right-hander Trevor Gott to a one-year contract on Wednesday.

Gott appeared in 45 games last season with Milwaukee, going 3-4 with a 4.14 ERA. Gott had 44 strikeouts in 45 2/3 innings and held opponents to a .204 batting average.

Gott’s signing helps fill a void created when Erik Swanson was traded to Toronto as part of the deal that brought slugger Teoscar Hernandez to Seattle earlier this month. Gott has also pitched for San Francisco, Washington and the Los Angeles Angels.

Last season with the Brewers, Gott saw significant drops in batting average against and walk percentage, while raising his strikeout percentage.

Seattle also made a front office announcement Wednesday with the promotion of Andy McKay to assistant general manager. McKay has been with the club since 2015, when he was hired as the director of player development. McKay was promoted to senior director of baseball development in November 2021.

In his new role, McKay will oversee baseball development at all levels of the organization.