The Red Sox dealt Zach Stewart to the Pittsburgh Pirates in late November after designating him for assignment a week prior. The deal was for a player to be named later, who Boston received today: Kyle Kaminska was shipped from the Pirates to the Sox, and was assigned to the minors.
Kaminska pitched in the Arizona Fall League, throwing 28 innings with 21 strikeouts against four walks and a 1.61 ERA. He induced twice as many ground outs as air outs, too, and was just 24 years old, too. That's not particularly young, but the AFL doesn't exactly feature the best-and-brightest pitching prospects around, either. Any pitcher who survives the AFL with solid stats deserves a look, at least to see why or how they did it, as it's an extreme hitter's environment.
Kaminska pitched well for the Pirates organization after a sketchy exit from Miami, where he was hit hard in 53 innings of work in 2012. The Pirates considered using him as a starter, rather than exclusively in relief, and he was making progress towards that goal. He features three pitches, a high-80s/low-90s sinking fastball, as well as a low-80s change-up and slider. The secondary stuff still needs work -- hence his being bounced between starting and relieving -- but if he can continue to use his sinker in the lower portion of the zone, there's hope for him to be something useful.
Most likely, Kaminska is a reliever, especially in what is a stacked Triple-A rotation for the PawSox in 2013. He might never make it out of Triple-A, but at the cost of Zach Stewart, for a non-roster return, you do this every time just in case he does.
Thanks to Bradley Ankrom for scouting assistance