JULY 11: Kimbrel underwent successful left knee arthroscopy and partial medial meniscectomy surgery Monday, the team announced, and is on track to return in three to six weeks.
JULY 9: Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel needs surgery to repair cartilage in his left knee and will be out three to six weeks, Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald tweets. Kimbrel had an MRI after experiencing knee soreness yesterday.
The 28-year-old Kimbrel, acquired at the start of the season in a big trade with the Padres, has a modest 3.55 ERA in his first year with Boston, but with his usual dominant peripherals — he has a ridiculous 13.6 K/9 to go with 4.1 BB/9 over 33 innings. He’s also recorded 17 saves this season.
Koji Uehara picked up a save yesterday for Boston, and the Red Sox added Diamondbacks closer Brad Ziegler last night, acquiring him from Arizona for two prospects. That move certainly looks to have been related to this one, although FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal tweeted before the seriousness of Kimbrel’s injury was known that the Red Sox were motivated primarily by the desire to add a different type of reliever, and via ESPN’s Scott Lauber (on Twitter), Sox exec Dave Dombrowski says the Sox and Diamondbacks were discussing a Ziegler trade before Kimbrel’s injury. In any case, the Red Sox’ timing looks fortuitous. Uehara and Ziegler will close until Kimbrel returns, according to Lauber (on Twitter). (Also via a tweet from Lauber, however, Ziegler will not be active today.)
[Related: Updated Red Sox Depth Chart]
At least from a health perspective, the Red Sox’ bullpen has had a rough time recently. In addition to Kimbrel’s injury, Junichi Tazawa was unavailable yesterday due to shoulder soreness. The Red Sox also lost offseason trade acquisition Carson Smith, who recently had Tommy John surgery.