Alburquerque named Tigers Rookie of the Year

The Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association has honored Al Alburquerque with the Tigers Rookie of the Year award, recognizing the right-handed reliever for a dominant summer.

Alburquerque was the logical choice in a field that didn’t include many rookies, though he wasn’t the only one. Andy Dirks made a good first impression as a fourth outfielder, though he seemed to fall down the list of options by year’s end. Duane Below had a good stretch in the bullpen, while top prospect Jacob Turner made a few starts.

None of them, however, could match the contribution of Alburquerque, who went from obscure free-agent signing last winter to late-inning strikeout artist by midseason.

The Tigers raised eyebrows when they signed the minor league free agent to a Major League contract last winter, having scouted his dominant stint in the Dominican Winter League. He hadn’t spent a day in the big leagues, but he had more strikeouts than innings pitched over four minor league seasons.

After fanning eight batters over four scoreless innings in a season-opening stint at Triple-A Toledo, Alburquerque got his shot. The results were beyond even what Tigers officials expected. After some wild innings upon arrival, he settled in and got on a roll. He walked 29 batters over 43 1/3 innings, but racked up 67 strikeouts.

His nine-inning ratios of 13.92 strikeouts and 4.36 hits allowed both were the best among AL relievers, as was his .142 average (21-for-148) allowed. They were all also the best marks for a Tigers reliever since at least 1946. With six strikeouts over three perfect innings of relief at Cleveland on April 30, he had a Tigers first since Willie Hernandez in 1984.

Alburquerque went 14 scoreless innings over 13 outings from May 21 to June 26, striking out 23 batters in the process. For the season, he stranded 28 out of 31 inherited runners, in part because opponents went 4-for-45 against him with runners in scoring position.

Alburquerque will receive his award during a pregame ceremony at some point next season.

10 Comments

anyone else get the email from tigers.com asking for feedback? man almost got emotional there, lol.

Congratulations, Al! You gave all the Tiger fans a thrill when you stepped on that mound.
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The May 29th game was the one where i went down to the field by the BP to watch players work out. Unfortunately, the Tigers didn’t take batting practice, but I got some great pictures of Benoit, Purcey, Victor getting warmed up by the trainer, Brad Penny, Phil Coke, but my best ones were of Al because I was standing right behind the catcher he was throwing to. That was fun. He knew people were watching, too.

When I see the article title: “Solutions to Tigers’ relief depth may be in place
Development of Alburquerque, Perry key to stabilizing bullpen” – it reads “No Bullpen Help in Sight – Got Faith in the Guys Who Couldn’t Get it Done.”

Not to say I don’t think last season was a HUGE step forward for Schlereth and Al^2, a step back for Perry and probably the best seasons Benoit and VV will have in tiger’s uniform. Hey maybe Purcey and Pauley will step up and the pen we’ll be solid?

From the same article, we have Dombrowski saying “Alburquerque was a little bit of an unusual situation at the end of the year, but he’ll be healthy,” I’m assuming Dave meant this in reference to Al’s concussion. I seem to recall Q being held out a few times with arm soreness, not surprising for a youngster with such violently nasty stuff. We can hope he’s healthy, but I don’t think that’s a given. We can also hope I’m wrong.
I’m of the opinion that we need a little help in the pen. I’m also curious to see how Pauley develops. Ryan Perry, good kid, but I’m having my doubts. I’d like to see him a little bit meaner out there.
There’s a story told, don’t know if it’s true, about former heavyweight champion Sonny Liston. Sonny was a devastating puncher but prone to bouts of laziness, letting his opponent stay in there too long. As the story goes, his trainers would put a real hot babe in a ringside seat and tell Sonny she was ready to….uh…..go on a date with him. When they wanted Liston to knock the guy out, they’d signal the woman to walk up the aisle, at which point they’d shout “Sonny! She’s leaving! Finish this thing!”
Not that I’m advocating this for Perry, of course.

that IS a great story!

It did not work well against Casius Clay and then with Muhammad Ali

I listened to the Clay-Liston fight on the radio, Howard Cosell the announcer. For the rematch, legend has it that there were so many death threats against Ali that Liston took a dive to get himself out of that ring.
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El Tigre, any local news on the Ramos kidnapping that we may not be getting up here?

The car used by the kidnappers was found. There is a scketch of two of the kidnappers.Until now, supposedly there is no contact with the family.
He was kidnapped last night at gunpoint ( assault weapons) when he arrived to his home.
It is the first time a baseball player is kidnapped. Thre are precedents but usually criminals went after the family.
In the 60s a soccer player, Alfredo Distefano, a naturalized spaniard born in Argentina, was made hostage while his team Real Madrid played here.It was for political reasons.
Around 1995,Gustavo Polidor who played alongside Argenis Salazar and Alfredo Pedrique ( Tigers 1992,94) was murdered when he ressisted a robbery .
In 2003, Ugeth Urbina did not finish the season with the Tigers because he was allowed to came back to deal with his mother kidnappers.
in 2008, a brother of Victor Zambrano, and the mother of Yorvit Torrealba were victims in separate incidents.
In Venezuela , there are around 23 or 24 people currently as hostages. The exact number is not known. Families dont tell and the goverment keep crime statistic as a state secret.
Usually, they dont ask ransom but they do express kidnapps, that is they retain the person to make him or her surrender the Blackberry and coerce them into make ATM withdrawals and then victims are released.
There were rumors about cancellation of the season but ,of course , the League has denied the sugestion.It would be surrender to the criminals

Im watching Justin Henry at bat. He is already 310. And has showed a great patience. He has not known MacClendon yet.

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