The Boston Red Sox announced the acquisition of relief pitcher Brad Ziegler from the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday in exchange for minor leaguers Jose Almonte and Luis Alejandro Basabe

The move came on the heels of news that Red Sox reliever Craig Kimbrel was unavailable to pitch Friday evening because of what was originally called left knee soreness, as USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale noted at the time. 

Kimbrel was later diagnosed with a torn medial meniscus that will require surgery, putting him on the 15-day disabled list, per the Red Sox. Manager John Farrell told reporters that Ziegler and Koji Uehara will share the closer’s role until Kimbrel returns.

Once Kimbrel recovers, Ziegler will be a strong contingency plan as a closer who can bolster the team’s bullpen as a setup man. 

“From a baseball standpoint you have a team that’s just a couple of games out of first and there’s a lot of opportunity there,” Ziegler said Saturday, according to’s Steve Gilbert

In 38.1 innings so far this season, Ziegler has notched 18 saves while posting a 2.82 ERA, 1.461 WHIP, 27 strikeouts and 15 walks. 

Those numbers may not be wildly impressive, but Ziegler is known for being one of MLB’s tougher matchups against right-handed hitting. Now in his ninth professional season, he has held right-handed batters to an average of .224. Conversely, lefties have recorded a .273 average working against the 36-year-old. 

With a solid three-pitch arsenal that includes a fastball, slider and changeup, Ziegler should be able to help patch up some of Boston’s bullpen woes. 

Entering Saturday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Red Sox relievers rank eighth among all American League teams with a shaky 3.92 ERA.  

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