BOSTON -- Although he won’t be available for the 4:05 start Saturday, the Red Sox new reliever Brad Ziegler is coming to Boston at just the right time, with Craig Kimbrel expected to be out for at least three to six weeks.
While it appears that the trade that happened late Friday/early Saturday via a text with Arizona Diamondbacks GM Dave Stewart was a result of Kimbrel’s tear in the medial meniscus in his left knee, Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski explained that the timing just worked out favorably.
“We’ve been working on this for a while, it just so happened it happened yesterday,” Dombrowski said.
In fact, Boston had eyed the sidearming Ziegler to fill in for the set-up role they’d initially intended for Carson Smith.
“[He] gives us a little more depth -- somebody that we really like that we can depend upon,” Dombrowski said.
“Ziegler’s an established big-league pitcher at the back end of the pen. He’s a different-look guy for us. He’s a guy that doesn’t throw hard, but he’ a ground ball machine. Great make-up.”
The role for Ziegler (18 saves, 2.82 ERA for Arizona) has obviously changed with the injury to Boston’s closer and he’ll now slip in with the aging Koji Uehara, 41, as the interim closers.
But the Red Sox' newest addition to the disabled list thinks the righty can handle the job.
“With the addition last night [of Ziegler] that’s huge,” Kimbrel said following the announcement of his injury. “He’s done a great job over his career of getting guys out -- especially with the sinkerball that he throws. Having him in the bullpen is going to be huge for us.”
The deal also reunites two ex-Diamondbacks, Ziegler and infielder Aaron Hill -- who was acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday.
Hill had nothing but praise for his old teammate and is excited to play behind him again.
“He adds a lot of value,” Hill said. “With any bullpen he adds a lot of value just with what he brings to the table . . . It’s never a comfortable at-bat [against Ziegler].”