It’s a pretty sad state of affairs when Detroit Tigers fans would rather see Alburquerque, New Mexico more than they would rather see Al Alburquerque, but that is now the case.
Al Alburquerque entered Wednesday’s game in the sixth inning down 6-4 to the Boston Red Sox and left in the sixth inning down 13-4. The grand slam given up to Will Middlebrooks, who is a .228 hitter, was the dagger in the game … though Alburquerque went on to give up another three runs because he felt like it.
Tonight’s game was not just the reason why his time in Detroit has expired well past its due date, but rather a culmination of his 5.58 ERA, which may be too high even for Jim Leyland to ignore.
It’s quite a sad drop from the guy who was one of the more valuable members of the Tigers bullpen. Now, the only value Alburquerque offers to the Tigers is an awesome Scrabble score. Leave it to the Tigers to wait too long to act with a member of its bullpen, Alburquerque should have been sent down to the minors months ago, but in the land of Phil Coke and Jose Valverde, there is no such thing as a demotion.
Bullpen pitchers on the Tigers have ultimate security as Leyland seems unaware that contracts can be let go of or demoted, and that there are other arms in the minor leagues that could actually be used. It’s a frustrating part of Leyland’s managing that leaves many fans enraged and if I didn’t know better, I would think the skipper actually enjoys torturing Tigers fans with his bullpen.
Still, even with the Tigers’ inability to move on from relief pitchers, the writing is not only on the wall — it is screaming off the wall, Alburquerque serves no good purpose sitting in that bullpen right now. Let him go to the Alburquerque Isotopes like he was destined to do.
If that does come to pass, just imagine the joy from the person who sews the names of the jerseys. They will have their productivity increase five-fold, which is more than what leaving Alburquerque on the roster will do.