Tampa Bay Rays: DFA Trevor Plouffe, add Kittredge Temporarily
By Althea Pashman
The opportunity to provide the Tampa Bay Rays with a power hitting right-handed bat fell short as Trevor Plouffe was designated for assignment following Tuesday night’s game.
Acquired on June 17 from the Oakland A’s for cash consideration with the hopes that a change of scenery could revive the disappointing season for Trevor Plouffe and give the Tampa Bay Rays a right-handed bat with modest power came up short.
Following the Rays game on Tuesday night against Toronto, the Rays DFAd Plouffe and added reliever Andrew Kittredge albeit temporarily to fill his roster spot, as he will provide bullpen insurance for Wednesday’s game.
Alex Cobb, currently on the DL with Turf Toe is expected to come off the DL and start on Thursday, with Kittredge returning to Durham.
For Kittredge, he made four appearances going 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in 3.1 innings of work from July 18-27. Currently at Durham, Kittredge is 6-1 with a 1.55 ERA, along with one save and 71 strikeouts in 63.2 innings (38 games).
Signed by the A’s as a free agent last December and DFAd by Oakland a week before the trade, Plouffe had spent the previous seven years with the Minnesota Twins where he had success against left-handed pitching hitting .269/.345/.459 and had averaged 17 home runs a season while hitting .247/.308/.420 overall.
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His production against lefties and the fact that he could play the corners were the main factors for the Rays acquiring him, plus it prevented the Red Sox and Yankees from gaining his services, as the Sox and the Yankees were looking for help at the corners.
Upon arriving from the A’s, Plouffe had hits in his first four games (three starts) and it looked as though the Rays may have caught lightning in a bottle as he had four hits in 13 at-bats, which included one double and one home run. However, there was no lightning after that, as his struggles at the plate continued as he would bat .150 (9-for-60) in the remaining 27 games.
His tenure with the Rays .178/.268/.247 with one home run and two RBIs in 31 games was just as bad as he had in Oakland, where he batted .214/.276/.357 with seven home runs and 14 RBIs in 58 games.
Overall, on the season between the A’s and Rays, his line was .204/.274/.325 with eight home runs, 16 RBIs and seven doubles in 89 games.
With Daniel Robertson capable of handling third base, and Lucas Duda used in a platoon with Morrison at first and or in the DH spot, plus the recent waiver claim of Cesar Puello, a right-handed hitting outfielder from Los Angeles Angels the writing was on the wall that Plouffe’s time with the Rays was likely ending.
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More than likely Plouffe will clear waivers at which time the Rays could send him to Triple-A Durham with a possible call up when the rosters expand on Sept. 1.