Kittredge starred at Ferris High in Spokane, played two years at UW and spent six seasons in the Mariners’ organization before being traded last November to the Rays’ organization. He will play in Wednesday’s Triple-A All-Star Game in Tacoma for the Durham Bulls.
TACOMA — Since Andrew Kittredge played baseball in high school, nearly every segment of his career has included a trail that leads back to Washington state.
He played four years at Ferris High School in Spokane, becoming one of the top recruits in the state. Then, Kittredge spent two seasons at the University of Washington, pitching typically as a reliever his freshman year before starting 15 games his sophomore year.
After playing six seasons in the minors with the Mariners’ organization, Kittredge is now with the Tampa Bay Rays’ Class AAA affiliate, the Durham Bulls in North Carolina. But he still found his way back to the Northwest thanks to the Triple-A All-Star Game being played in Tacoma on Wednesday.
“When I did find out, I knew it was cool and I was going to be able to call my family and tell them I was going to get to come home,” Kittredge said.
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While he was in the Mariners’ organization, he had three stints with Tacoma, in 2013, 2015 and 2016, and he’s been around the country playing for Mariners affiliates at essentially every level.
Last November, Kittredge was part of a five-player trade that sent Taylor Motter and Richie Shaffer, who’s also playing in the All-Star Game, from the Rays to the Mariners, while Kittredge and two others went to the Rays.
“It was tough,” Kittredge said. “Had a blast, have a lot of respect for the guys over there. This is a new chapter, and I’m having a blast with the Rays. So far it’s been really good for me.”
In his time with the Bulls, Kittredge has an ERA of 1.93, but he still hasn’t gotten a chance in the big leagues. He knows that call-up would likely depend on a number of factors, such as injuries or what the organization needs at that time, but he also knows he’s not too far off.
“It’s definitely crossed my mind,” Kittredge said. “I like to think I’m close and that it will happen at some point.”
Machi seeks MLB return
In the clubhouse at the Triple-A All-Star Game, Jean Machi is surrounded by players who each have one distinct similarity: They are the best at this level of play.
Yet, they’re all at different points in their career. Some are young and hopeful for a chance in the big leagues. Others have played in the majors, maybe for a few games or even multiple seasons, and they’re trying to get back. Then there’s Machi, a 35-year-old pitcher for the Rainiers, who said he has his two World Series rings with him in the clubhouse.
Machi, a reliever, has pitched almost 200 innings in the big leagues, stretching back to his 2012 debut. He was with the San Francisco Giants for the 2012 season when they won the World Series, and then he made it on the 25-man roster for the World Series in 2014, pitching in Games 2, 4 and 6.
After the 2015 season, in which Machi pitched for the Red Sox, he spent the 2016 season in Class AAA, with the Iowa Cubs and the Sacramento River Cats, before joining the Mariners’ organization this year.
Machi also spent time with the Mariners this season, pitching in five games for a total of 72/3 innings and allowing two runs, one of which was unearned.
And even though Machi has already had success in the majors, he wants to return.
“I work every day to make it back to the big leagues,” Machi said.