Alburquerque feels healthy, looks ready

Al Alburquerque feels like he can pitch in the big leagues if the Tigers want him. His latest outing might have been the last hurdle to getting him back to Detroit in time for the stretch run.

For the first time since Alburquerque started pitching in games again five weeks ago, he pitched on back-to-back days. His second outing Wednesday night looked arguably as good as any he has had at Triple-A Toledo, tossing a perfect inning and striking out side in order against Indianapolis.

Mud Hens manager Phil Nevin said Alburquerque will be evaluated on Thursday to see how he feels physically after those two outings. As long as he checks out OK, Nevin said, the Tigers have a decision to make with rosters set to expand on Friday.

It won’t be Nevin’s decision, though he’ll surely have some input. From what he sees, at least, Alburquerque looks healthy.

“He looks fine to me,” Nevin said. “It was a positive to see how he handled [Wednesday] pitching on back-to-back days.”

Alburquerque isn’t all the way back to last year’s dominant form that made him a high-strikeout specialist in Detroit’s bullpen. His fastball is closer to the mid-90s than the 99 mph heater he had at times last year. He said he has topped out at 97 so far. On Wednesday, he got his fastball up to 95-96 mph consistently.

As long as he has his slider, he can work with that. He finished off his final batter, former Tigers prospect Jeff Larish, by alternating fastballs up and out with sliders down and in. Larish swung and missed at the slider three times, every other pitch.

Usually with pitchers coming off elbow surgeries, as Alburquerque had last winter, the slider is a pitch that takes time to hone again. As least from Wednesday’s look, it’s back.

“His slider’s just gotten more snap as we’ve gone along,” Nevin said. “Each day, he’s gotten better and better command.”

Albuerquerque threw 10 of his 17 pitches for strikes on Wednesday, including back-to-back called strikes with a fastball and a slider to strike out Brandon Boggs.

For his part, Alburquerque said the slider hasn’t been his toughest pitch to get back.

“The two-seamer is better right now,” he said. “In the past, I couldn’t throw the two-seamer. … No problem with my slider, just my two-seamer.”

More important, Alburquerque said, he has a routine to get his arm ready before a game. In the past, he said, he would just warm up in the bullpen, throw some pitches and go out there, which might explain part of his injury history.

“I’ve got a routine before I pitch,” he said. “Last year, I didn’t have a routine. Everything I do here, I have a routine. My trainer has helped me a lot. I feel a lot of pride, because I have a routine to pitch.”

Asked if he’s ready healthwise, he said, “Right now, I feel strong. Sometimes I feel sore, but I know I can throw in the game. I feel strong. I feel happy for everything I have right now.”

Alburquerque has allowed two runs on nine hits over 10 2/3 innings at Toledo, walking four and striking out 18. Fifteen of those strikeouts have come over his last six outings, covering 7 2/3 innings.

33 Comments

but can he hit? that is what we really need right now…

You never, ever have too much pitching!!!!!!!!!!!! Take it to the bank.

Sure would be nice to get the old Al back and look to use him as an impact pitcher in lieu of lefty matchups.
Amazing really how few injuries the Tigs have suffered this year considering the start with Victor.
17-19 in one run games (started the season 5-0) and 3-7 since the break sums up the feeling of so close yet so far.
I was surprised Sanchez wasn’t called off the bloop hit with the two infielders being timid leaving it to the pitcher to miss the 3rd out.

Dave B. One run losses. You are spot on. In fact, for August we are 15-10 (.600)overall but we are 3-6 in one run games. Not good. And that is what makes this last two weeks soooo frustrating. Hosmer is capable of hitting the ball 400 feet on any pitch and we get beat when he hits what looks a little like a flop wedge maybe 79 and a half feet!!!!!!!!!! And really we had three chances in the ninth to steal the game.

The team has progressed slowly and cautiously with Mr. Alburquerque. It must continue. From September 1 to October 3 he should be on a 125 pitch limit. No single outing over 20 pitches. Perhaps we get 7 or 8 quality outings. Sometimes it would be getting just that one big out. It would mirror what he did for us last September. The results weren’t bad if you want to take a look.

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Yes, but can he play right field and hit?

Now is the time for all good Tiger fans to come to the aid of our Team. Plain and simple today we need a win over these Royals. But before that we need our good buddies (the Baltimore Orioles) for today anyway, to whip the White Sox. We have the first game of our long distance doubleheader starting in less than an hour. Go Orioles. Go Tigers!!!!!!!!

What aid should we provide? They don’t seem to listen to our genius suggestions. ;-)

Would this aid our manager??? We track down Billy Martin’s lineup cap from 1972 and allow him to use it for RF and C. On Sept.1, he may have seven names to draw for two positions. UNBELIEVABLE. These two positions must bat 7 thru 9 and blend with Infante at 2B. Never Avila and Boesch back to back. As long as they are healthy, he had the right six batting 1 thru 6 last night. Ooops that’s more advice than aid. Never work. Never work.

This is worth a read:
http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120830&content_id=37591502&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb
Even non-baseball fans will remember Ueck’s performance as Harry Doyle, the announcer in “Major League.” What should be kept in mind is that Bob was making up those lines on the spot, pure improv.
Funniest baseball movie ever, with a nod to the scene in “Naked Gun” where Leslie Nielsen playing Frank Drebin playing Enrico Polazzo calls the balls and strikes.

Good article Rich. Agreed on Major League … the funniest baseball movie ever. Harry Doyle was classic.
.
“Ball 12 … How can the Yankees lay off pitches this close”
“0 runs on 1 hit … one gawd damn hit … that’s all we got”
“Postgame show brought to you by … ah I cant find it … the hell with it”
“The Indians win it ..The Indians win it … Oh my gawd !!! The Indians win it.”
.
I haven t watched it in awhile. May have to fire it up over the weekend for a laugh.
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– Bob

“They don’t call him the best color man in the business for nothing, folks.”

“The Duke leads the league in nose hairs. When he blows his nose it is like a party favour going off”
.
I could do this all day. :D
.
– Bob

Better get Brookens back—Belliard isn’t getting the boys past 1st base!!

where is he? I noticed he was not at first last night but did not hear why

It looks like it took four hits for the Sox to score one run. They lead the O’s 1-0.

Big update!!!!!!! O’s strike for four runs in the bottom of the third. No 1-0 game this afternoon!!!!!!!!

Go O’s!!
But the problem of US winning remains. We’re going nowhere if this team can’t score and prevent more runs.
Very difficult night ahead for Porcello. Lot’s of expectations and pressure. He generally throws well but makes mistakes a few times ta game, hat for whatever reason, don’t get missed by the hitters.
I have mentioned this before but not hitting mistakes has really hurt our offense.

There’s no reason why we can’t hit Guthrie tonight, but the matchup numbers aren’t all that great. Some smaller samples than I would have expected. On the pitching side, we may want to consider choosing the guys in their lineup to go after. I don’t see us ever doing that much.
I hope Jim starts Laird tonight.
It’s a must win no matter what the Sox do today.
Looking forward to Saturday and Sunday, I’d much prefer Raburn in the lineup over Baker. At least Ryan MIGHT do something. Baker’s a lost cause.

agreed – and I never felt I’d rather see Raburn ever again, but Baker just has no excitement to him in the field or at the bat, at least not yet

Laird’s sample against Guthrie is small but very good. .444 lifetime in three starts with a hit in every game and 2-2 this year. Alex .222.

It’s time for the seventh inning stretch in Baltimore with the Orioles holding a 5-1 lead over the visiting Chicago White Stockings. Zack Britton has held the Sox at bay while Adam Jones has a homer and a strike to the plate to cut down the Sox catcher AJ PEERzinSKY.

Sox have 2 men on and 1 out in the 9th. Johnson coming in. let’s hope he doesn’t pull a Papa Grande!!!

Now if this was the Tigers and we were leading, Papa Grande would have started the ninth inning. Not sure if the outcome would have been any different. I wonder if how the O’s did it would have been quicker than if it was Valverde doing it????

Watching the Soxs game and Britton confused them much like he did the Tigers. Orioles took 3 of 4 which makes blowing the pitching performance last night and Justin pitching so poorly the previous hurt a little more knowing the ground we could and should of been able to make up. Couple sac flys last night we probably win and Justin having a sub par outing versus a miserable outing?? Who said you can’t cry over spilt milk?

2 run single. by Ramirez and the tying run is now up.

That ballpark in Baltimore is like, empty.

It has been half empty all week. I wondering if the people in Balitmore knew they still had a baseball team and that they are in a pennant race.
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–Bob

Sox lose

Orioles hang on in the ninth for a 5-3 victory!!!!!!! We will let the Hawk Sox win the race to Detroit but that’s it!!

So in the end, if we win tonight it will be the same as if we’d taken 2 of 3 and the Sox split in Baltimore. Which was the outcome I expected. But we’ve got to win tonight. We can’t accomplish much this weekend if we start 3 back. Jim, you got that?

Baseball Gods smiling down and laughing. Britton beats Tigers. Britton beats Sox.
Teagarden hits a huge homer against Tigers. So he hits a homer against the Sox just to keep things fair and square. Did any of those baseball experts predict that the Orioles, Nationals, Reds, Giants, Dodgers, A’s, Rays and White Sox would be the division races on Sept. 1??? No, they would have been laughed out of town. Isn’t baseball great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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