Sport

Porcello, Bogaerts lead Red Sox past Rays

Share

Fortuitous isn't quite the right word to describe that confluence of events.

The dominant closer sustained the injury fielding ground balls during batting practice prior to Friday's game. This will be an interesting trade because Dombrowski made it before Kimbrel's surgery was announced, therefore he must have something planned for Ziegler with Boston.

Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Aaron Sanchez was chosen Saturday to replace Kimbrel, a five-time All-Star selection, on the American League All-Star roster.

The Red Sox had a solid closer with Koji Uehara but nearing 41 years of age, they knew that they had to start preparing for someone else to take on the closer role in the future. Ziegler had been acting as Arizona's closer, and had performed well in the role, picking up 48 saves over the last two seasons.

1B Hanley Ramirez (left shin contusion) was not in the starting lineup Saturday after fouling a ball off a foot for the second straight game Friday.

Porcello continued a top of the first trend for the Red Sox pitching staff by surrendering a home run to second batter Brad Miller.

Moore (5-6) exited after six innings, allowing four runs - but just two earned - on seven hits and three walks with four strikeouts. Price took the loss against Texas his last time out, giving up eight hits and three runs in eight innings.

The sidearming 36-year-old gives the Red Sox three relievers with closing experience and could be insurance if Kimbrel's knee soreness develops into a more significant injury.

Tampa Bay's Brandon Guyer was hit by a pitch twice, bringing his season total to 20. The Red Sox farm system is relatively well-stocked, and Dombrowski has prospects to deal.

The rotation is the larger concern. He improved to 11-2 with a 3.66 ERA through 18 starts this year. He was also not ranked by MLB.com among the club's 30 best prospects. It's not just this season either, Ziegler is a proven stud in the bullpen. 224 off Ziegler, but his changeup is notoriously hard to make contact with. In two starts against the Rays this season he is 2-0 with a 2.77 ERA.

I don't believe the Red Sox are done yet.

Brad Ziegler was acquired on Friday by Boston from the Arizona Diamondbacks. It is important here not to confuse Luis Alejandro Basabe with his twin brother, Luis Alexander Basabe. The 19-year-old has a 155 wRC+ in 271 plate appearances in A-Ball this year and has posted gaudy walk rates throughout his career per FanGraphs. Basabe, like Almonte, could become a valuable contributor in the big leagues someday, but his future with Boston as a middle infielder was quite limited. In 38 1/3 innings with the Diamondbacks this season, he has pitched to a 2.82 ERA with 6.3 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9, though his real bread and butter is inducing groundballs, which he has done at a 63% rate this season.

Share