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Top Zack Littell News

  • Rays' Zack Littell: Locked into rotation

    Littell is expected to serve as a starter for the entire 2024 season, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

    Littell made the transition from reliever to starter in the middle of the 2023 season, and he managed a 3.41 ERA across 71.1 innings in the latter role. With the Rays down several starters to begin the 2024 campaign, he'll be counted on in the rotation, but the team is also planning on him sticking in a starting role for the entirety of the season. That could change if he falters and either Shane Baz (elbow) or Jeffrey Springs (elbow) can return, but neither is likely to be available until the summer months at the earliest.

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  • Rays' Zack Littell: Settles with Rays

    Littell signed a one-year, $1.85 million contract with the Rays on Thursday to avoid arbitration, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports.

    After getting DFA'd by the Giants in May, Littell was claimed off waivers by Tampa Bay and recorded a 3.93 ERA and 1.15 WHIP through 87 innings with the Rays. He projects to be the fourth or fifth man in Tampa Bay's rotation in 2024, though he also has plenty of experience coming out of the bullpen.

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  • Rays' Zack Littell: Gets used in relief Friday

    Littell didn't factor into the decision Friday during the Rays' 11-4 loss to the Blue Jays, coughing up three runs on three hits and two walks over 1.1 relief innings. He struck out one.

    Aaron Civale tossed 40 pitches as the starting pitcher and was charged with the loss during a game in which the Rays never led, but both Littell (35 pitches) and Taj Bradley (21 pitches) also saw action out of the bullpen, as manager Kevin Cash wanted to keep all his options open for his playoff rotation while not giving Toronto -- Tampa's likely opponent in the wild-card round -- a good look at any of them. Littell closes the books on a regular season that saw him post a 4.10 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 74:12 K:BB through 90 innings split between the Rays and Red Sox.

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  • Rays' Zack Littell: Settles for no-decision Saturday

    Littell came away with a no-decision Saturday, allowing two unearned runs on five hits and a walk over 5.2 innings in the Rays' 7-6 victory over the Blue Jays. He struck out six.

    The right-hander came one out shy of his third quality start in five September outings, and Littell left the mound in line for his fourth win of the season and first since Aug. 27, only for the Tampa Bay bullpen to cough up the lead in the eighth inning. Littell sports a sharp 2.70 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 22:2 K:BB through 30 innings on the month, and with Saturday's win having locked up a playoff spot for the Rays, he may not be asked to handle a full workload in his final start of the regular season, which lines up for a rematch with the Jays in Toronto next weekend.

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  • Rays' Zack Littell: Goes 4.2 innings in no-decision

    Littell did not factor into the decision Sunday, allowing one run on four hits over 4.2 innings against the Orioles. He struck out three.

    After pitching eight and seven innings, respectively, in his previous two starts, Littell only made it through 4.2 frames Sunday, departing after throwing just 55 pitches. The 27-year-old right-hander has looked good of late, working to a 2.29 ERA while issuing just one walk in his last three outings (19.2 innings) despite an 0-2 record in that span. Overall, Littell is 3-6 with a 4.12 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 67:9 K:BB through 83 innings this season. He's currently slated for a home matchup with the Blue Jays this weekend in his next outing.

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  • Rays' Zack Littell: Another solid outing

    Littell (3-6) took the loss Tuesday, allowing three runs on five hits over seven innings against the Twins. He struck out eight.

    After firing off eight innings of one-run baseball in his last start, Littell went seven innings against Minnesota and logged his third quality start of the season despite surrendering a pair of home runs to Willi Castro and Edouard Julien. Over his last seven appearances (42.2 innings), Littell owns a 4.43 ERA and a 33:3 K:BB but has allowed 1.9 HR/9. Littell will close out his two-start week on the road Sunday against the Orioles.

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  • Rays' Zack Littell: Eight-inning gem, unfortunate loss

    Littell (3-5) took the loss Thursday, allowing one run on five hits and one walk over eight innings against the Mariners. He struck out four.

    Littell turned in the longest outing of his career Thursday, holding Seattle to just one run and retiring 19 of the final 20 batters he faced. However, the 27-year-old right-hander was saddled with an unlucky loss on account of Tampa Bay's failure to provide any run support. In eight starts since joining the Rays' rotation as a full starter, Littell has a 3-3 record with 3.86 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and a 30:4 K:BB across 46.2 innings. His next start is tentatively scheduled for early next week against a Minnesota offense that leads MLB in strikeouts versus right-handed pitching.

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  • Rays' Zack Littell: Allows season-high nine hits

    Littell did not factor into the decision Saturday, allowing four runs on nine hits over 4.2 innings in a 7-6 loss to Cleveland. He struck out one.

    Littell allowed hits to four of the first eight batters he faced, leading to two early runs coming across for Cleveland. He would go on to surrender four earned runs for the third consecutive start while recording just one strikeout. The right-hander also gave up a season-high nine hits in the contest and failed to make it through at least five innings for the first time in his last seven outings.

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  • Rays' Zack Littell: Does just enough for win

    Littell (3-4) got the win Sunday over the Yankees after allowing four runs on four hits and a walk while striking out four in six innings.

    Littell was punished by the long ball in Sunday's outing. He gave up back-to-back jacks in the third and then a two-run shot to Anthony Volpe in the fourth to allow the Yankees to go up 4-2. The Rays wound up scoring a timely four runs in the sixth to take the lead back and put Littell in line for the victory. He's surrendered a home run in each of his last four starts but has been surprisingly effective as a starter considering he's spent his career as a reliever up until his current stint with the Rays. In six starts with Tampa, Littell now holds a 3.97 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 25:3 K:BB in 34 innings and lines up for a meeting with the Guardians next.

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  • Rays' Zack Littell: Four earned runs in no-decision

    Littell did not factor into the decision Tuesday, allowing four runs on seven hits and one walk over 5.1 innings against the Rockies. He struck out six.

    Littell induced a second-inning popup by Nolan Jones that landed just inside the left-field foul line, resulting in an unfortunate triple due to miscommunication between Tampa's young infield tandem of Osleivis Basabe and Curtis Mead. Jones would score on a sacrifice fly before Michael Toglia hit a solo homer. Littell conceded two more earned runs in the sixth and was on track for the loss before Tampa Bay's offensive explosion in the eighth turned the game into a blowout victory for the Rays. In five starts since joining the rotation July 30, the 27-year-old righty has posted a 3.54 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 21:2 K:BB across 28 innings. Littell is tentatively slated to make his next start at home against the Yankees over the weekend.

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  • Rays' Zack Littell: No help in loss

    Littell (2-4) allowed two runs on three hits and struck out five without walking a batter over 5.2 innings, taking the loss Tuesday versus the Giants.

    Littell came up an out short of a quality start against his former team, but he didn't get much help from his offense. This was his fourth straight turn as a traditional starter, and he's allowed seven runs over 22.2 innings in that span, adjusting to the role admirably. The right-hander is at a 3.99 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 41:6 K:BB through 47.1 innings over 20 appearances (seven starts) between the Rays and the Red Sox this year. Littell is projected for a road start versus the Angels over the weekend, and he should have some staying power in the rotation following news of Shane McClanahan's imminent season-ending Tommy John surgery.

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  • Rays' Zack Littell: Solid again but takes loss

    Littell (2-3) took the loss against St. Louis on Thursday, allowing three runs on seven hits and no walks while striking out five batters over six innings.

    Littell held the Cardinals scoreless through three frames before serving up a two-run homer to Andrew Knizner in the fourth. St. Louis tacked on another run against the right-hander in the sixth, which was enough to send him to his third loss. Despite the defeat, Littell continues to look good in his new role as a traditional starter, tossing his second straight quality start. In three games since moving into the rotation, he's posted a 2.65 ERA and 10:1 K:BB over 17 innings.

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  • Rays' Zack Littell: Shuts down Tigers

    Littell (2-2) earned the win Friday, allowing three hits and one walk over six scoreless innings against Detroit. He struck out one.

    The Rays gave Littell a nice cushion early and he cruised, completing six frames on 74 pitches. It wasn't a dominant performance in terms of whiffs -- Littell induced just five swinging strikes -- but the right-hander was efficient and kept the ball on the ground. With Shane McClanahan moving to the 15-day injured list this week with forearm tightness, Littell would seem to be locked into the rotation as long as he keeps delivering solid performances.

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  • Rays' Zack Littell: Set to start Friday

    Littell is listed as the Rays' starting pitcher for Friday's game against the Tigers at Comerica Park.

    Littell has already made four starts this season, but on each of the first three occasions, he covered no more than 3.1 innings while operating as more of an opening pitcher. In his most recent start Sunday in Houston, however, Littell covered a season-high five innings, striking out four while allowing two runs on eight hits. Based on the workload he handled, Littell looks like he could be getting stretched out for a more traditional starting role, especially now that Tampa Bay has a spot in the rotation open after Taj Bradley was optioned to Triple-a Durham on Monday. Erasmo Ramirez worked three innings behind Littell on Sunday, so it's possible the two pitchers work in tandem again Thursday if Ramirez isn't needed out of the bullpen Tuesday or Wednesday.

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  • Rays' Zack Littell: Goes five frames, nabs win

    Littell (1-2) earned the win Sunday, allowing two runs on eight hits over five innings against the Astros. He struck out four.

    Though Sunday's game was expected to be a bullpen day for the Rays, Littell managed to last five innings and was stretched out to 82 pitches after having thrown fewer than three innings in all but one of his appearances this season. Despite allowing eight hits, Littell held the Astros scoreless heading into the fifth, where he allowed back-to-back singles and a double during a two-run inning. Considering the Rays are battling a multitude of injuries in their starting rotation, they may continue to stretch Littell out if he proves to be a reliable innings eater.

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  • Rays' Zack Littell: Starting Sunday

    Littell will start Sunday's game against the Astros, Steve Carney of StPeteNine.com reports.

    The right-hander hasn't pitched since he delivered two scoreless innings last Sunday against Baltimore, and he'll start Tampa Bay's bullpen day in Houston a week later. Littell has covered at least two frames in each of his past four outings, but he shouldn't be expected to last more than once through the order Sunday.

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  • Rays' Zack Littell: Season-high four strikeouts in loss

    Littell (0-2) took the loss Wednesday, allowing one run on five hits over 3.1 innings against the Rangers. He struck out four.

    Littell made it through the first two innings unscathed before serving up a leadoff home run to Leody Taveras to open the bottom of the third. That would be the only run allowed by the right-hander on the afternoon as he was later relieved by Jake Diekman after surrendering a one-out double to Jonah Heim in the fourth. Littell has now allowed at least one run in each of his last three outings while his four strikeouts Wednesday marked a season high.

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Player Bio

HT/WT: 6-4, 220 lbs
Birthplace: Burlington, NC
Age: 28
Experience: 4
Bats/Throws: R, R