Dec 16, 2011, 2:14 PM EDT
Detroit’s impressive bullpen depth will be put to the test, as Al Alburquerque is expected to miss the first half of the season after undergoing elbow surgery.
James Jahnke of the Detroit Free Press reports that Alburquerque “had a screw inserted into his olecranon to stabilize a non-displaced stress fracture in his right elbow” and won’t be cleared to begin throwing for at least 12 weeks.
Alburquerque had an amazing rookie season for the Tigers, posting a 1.87 ERA and 67 strikeouts in 43 innings while holding opponents to a .142 batting average, but had a couple rough appearances in the playoffs after which he wasn’t used much in high-leverage spots.
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