Rarely in entertainment and sports is the encore presentation as good as the original presentation; however, in the case of Minnesota Twins’ left-hander Andrew Albers, twice was just as nice. In his second career start, Albers followed up his brilliant debut by surrendering only two hits, while hurling a complete-game shutout, and leading the Twins to a 3-0 victory over Cleveland. Albers now has thrown 17.1 shutout innings to start his career in the majors and has the look of a pitcher who belongs in the big-leagues.
Albers has made his money so far during his time at the majors by throwing strikes, working both sides of the plate and keeping hitters off-balance by changing speeds consistently throughout the game. Those characteristics are good enough to get hitters out in the big-leagues, but whether or not they will be good enough to consistently get hitters out at the majors is another thing. So far, Albers has been able to pass the eye-test and the statistical test when it comes to pitching effectively in the big-leagues; but again, Albers has only been seen twice at the majors and teams still haven’t had a lot of time to fully scout Albers and come up with a plan on how to attack him.
I hate to rain on Albers’ parade and downgrade the great success that he is having, but I still am not ready to anoint the left-hander as the “savior of the rotation” or “surefire stud” like other analysts have already begun to characterize Albers as. Albers simply hasn’t been around long enough for me to be able to fully endorse him as a surefire starter who can go out and put up great numbers every start. I do think that Albers has a chance to be a decent starter in this rotation, but I think it would be illogical to believe that he can keep up the current pace that he is on so far this season. I believe a more accurate representation of Albers’ talents would be a pitcher with a low walk total, average strikeout ratio and somewhere who will possess an ERA the 3.50 range; then again, I’ve been wrong about Albers before and I certainly wouldn’t mind being wrong again if it means Albers will continue to perform like this.
Albers certainly has been a breath of fresh air for the Twins and hopefully it will be a sign of things to come for other young Twins’ starters who are moving their way through the team’s minor-league system. It will be interesting to see how long Albers can continue this scoreless streak and with his next start slated to occur against Chicago—a lineup who has been feeble and unproductive all season—the chances are good that Albers could yet again spin a gem on Saturday night; make sure to tune in to see the results for yourself!