Welcome to Pickup of the Day, where every weekday we'll pick an under-the-radar player whose immediate value is on the rise. The idea here is to identify a starter who can give you some solid innings off the scrap heap, a talented backup who's been given a chance because of a starter's injury, an unheralded regular with a favorable matchup, or a potential breakout player who's starting to put it together. Unlike regular waiver-wire advice, Pickup of the Day is geared more towards interim success, but hopefully we'll have the intuition to help you snag a waiver-wire gem a few times this season.
Many people dropped Brad Ziegler two weeks ago when he was traded from the Diamondbacks to the Red Sox because it didn't look like he was going to get save opportunities in Boston. But he should not be on the waiver wire in any league as of Wednesday morning. Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel needed surgery for a medial meniscus tear in his left knee on July 11 -- only a few days after the Red Sox acquired Ziegler -- and Kimbrel's fill-in, Koji Uehara, left a ninth-inning appearance Tuesday night against the Giants after straining his right pectoral muscle. The job could now suddenly fall to Ziegler, who has yielded just one hit over three scoreless innings since putting on a Red Sox uniform and boasts a 2.61 ERA in 41 1/3 total innings for the year. He has tallied 48 saves in 52 chances between this season and last. Get that counter going again.