Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel to undergo knee surgery

Boston Red Sox closing pitcher Craig Kimbrel (46) leans in for the call during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park on Saturday, June 18, 2016, in Boston.

The already beleaguered Boston Red Sox bullpen was dealt another blow on Saturday with the news that closer Craig Kimbrel will be sidelined for 3-6 weeks.

Kimbrel will have surgery and is expected to miss 3-6 weeks.

Kimbrel felt discomfort in his left knee Friday during batting practice while he was shagging fly balls.

The team quickly acted to fill Kimbrel's spot in the bullpen, trading for Diamondbacks closer Brad Ziegler, but it's Koji Uehara, not Ziegler, who will be the team's closer in Kimbrel's stead, at least from the outset.

"Unfortunately, he's going to be headed for a procedure here on Monday", manager John Farrell said.

It really just seems like a matter of flawless timing for the Red Sox who just so happened to pull off a trade for a closer right as their own closer went down with an injury.

The 36-year old Ziegler has turned in a number of fine seasons in nine years in the Majors between the Diamondbacks and Oakland Athletics. "This is anomaly. You can't put guys in bubbles". Cash said he'll likely start a rehab assignment Monday and they hope to have him in the lineup Friday.

Opinion: Good (I do opinion on a scale from disgusting, poor, ok, good, excellent): Koji is a great pitcher, but as the guys on Felger and Mazz on 103.7 FM (or 98.5 FM) say, you can't really trust Tazawa or Uehara as much as you could back in 2013.

Brad Ziegler's arm slot allows him to get great movement and fade on his sinker, resulting in the highest ground ball rate among relief pitchers in the big leagues at 67.4 percent.

The Boston Red Sox can't catch a break.

Boston receives $5.2 million from Milwaukee as part of Thursday's trade to acquire infielder Aaron Hill from Milwaukee, offsetting most of the approximately $5.6 million remaining of his $12 million salary this year.

Rays: CF Kevin Kiermaier (fractured left hand) worked out pregame.

Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (1-3, 8.59) is expected to be recalled Friday and start the first of a three-game series against the Yankees in NY. Recently acquired IF/OF Michael Martinez has joined the team, and reliever Noe Ramirez has been recalled from Pawtucket to take Kimbrel's place on the roster.

Rays: RHP Jake Odorizzi (3-4, 4.33 ERA) is set to start the series finale on Sunday.


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