|Al Alburquerque has faced 74|
batters. Thirty-one have
struck out; 12 have walked.
He does not pitch to contact.
He is emerging as what the Twins were hoping Jim Hoey would be — a gas-throwing righty to stomp on rallies in the seventh inning.
One difference between Alburquerque and Hoey: the Tigers pitcher has a high quality slider. Hoey has the fastball to match Alburquerque, but he lacks the secondary offering.
Another difference: Hoey came to the Twins in a trade. To be sure, it was a salary dump; the Twins wanted/needed to jettison the expense represented by infielders J.J. Hardy and Brendan Harris. Alburquerque was free talent.
He's 24, but he's been kicking around the minors for years — signed by the Cubs in 2003, still in A ball when traded to Colorado in midseason 2009, cut loose by the Rockies in early November last year, signed by the Tigers as a minor league free agent about two weeks later.
One can figure the Twins had a shot at signing him, but he either wasn't on their radar or chose the Tigers instead.
He's just another example of the virtues of building a bullpen on a budget.