Kittredge, who fired a scoreless two-thirds of an inning during which he allowed one hit in a loss to the Orioles on Friday, now has a 6.00 ERA through his first three appearances. The right-hander got his season off on the right foot with a pair of scoreless frames versus the Blue Jays on Sunday, but he subsequently was touched up for two earned runs on two hits by the Braves over just one-third of an inning Wednesday. Kittredge has filled an increasingly larger bullpen role over the last three seasons for manager Kevin Cash, topping out at 37 appearances, including seven starts, in 2019.
Kittredge threw live batting practice Saturday, Juan Toribio of MLB.com reports. The versatile right-hander was already trending toward a roster spot when spring training was suspended. With manager Kevin Cash allowed to keep up to 30 players active for the first two weeks of the 2020 season, Kittredge's chances of being with the team Opening Day appear even stronger. Additionally, the 30-year-old's ability to potentially fill multiple bullpen roles and also serve as a spot starter in a pinch serve to further his already strong coase.
Kittredge, who generated a 4.50 ERA across five Grapefruit League appearances before spring training was suspended, is likely to garner an Opening Day roster spot due to his versatility, Juan Toribio of MLB.com reports. Kittredge was a true jack-of-all-trades asset for manager Kevin Cash last season, logging 37 appearances overall, including seven starts. The right-hander generated a respectable 4.17 ERA and impressive 58:12 K:BB across 49.2 innings, and the 30-year-old was being stretched out some this spring with an eye on having him work in a number of 2020 roles, including spot starter. Kittredge's chances were also likely helped by the recent optioning of Trevor Richards, a pitcher with a similar profile, to Triple-A Durham.
Kittredge, who allowed three earned runs on three hits and two walks over 2.1 innings in a Grapefruit League loss to the Blue Jays on Monday, is being stretched out for possible spot starts or bulk-reliever duties this coming season, Zachary Silver of MLB.com reports. The right-hander's latest outing wasn't as rocky as his line might imply, as Kittredge also rang up five strikeouts. The 29-year-old made 10 starts for the Rays over the last two seasons, but he's still largely operated as a reliever while logging 60 appearances out of the bullpen over that span. His versatility makes him a good fit as either an in-a-pinch member of the rotation or long reliever following an opener, and it's worth noting that prior to Monday's struggles, Kittredge had been in fine form over his first four appearances with a 1.73 ERA and 6:0 K:BB over 5.2 frames.
Kittredge allowed three earned runs on three hits without recording an out as the opener against the Rangers on Wednesday. He did not record any walks or strikeouts and did not factor into the decision. Kittredge facilitated a quick Rangers comeback from an early 2-0 deficit by falling flat over 20 pitches to open the contest. Kittredge allowed an RBI single to Willie Calhoun before exiting, and the runs that subsequent singles Nomar Mazara and Danny Santana drove in on singles off Jalen Beeks went on Kittredge's ledger as well. The right-hander had allowed just one earned run over his prior four appearances, but Wednesday's meltdown served as his eighth outing with multiple earned runs allowed since the All-Star break.