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Tigers reliever Al Alburquerque expected to miss first half following elbow surgery

Dec 16, 2011, 2:14 PM EDT

Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Al Alburquerque reacts after called for a balk which scored New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez during the fifth inning of Game 4 in their MLB  American League Division Series baseball playoffs in Detroit Reuters

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.

Octavio Dotel, who was signed to a one-year deal last week, will likely slide into Alburquerque’s old role and combine with Joaquin Benoit to set up closer Jose Valverde.

  1. spudchukar - Dec 16, 2011 at 2:19 PM

    I hate it when they have to screw things into my Olecranon.

  2. Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Dec 16, 2011 at 2:25 PM

    “Great. So now we’re reporting on injuries to imaginary players? What is this world coming to?”

    –Mike Francesa

    • cur68 - Dec 16, 2011 at 2:58 PM

      You beat me to it, Chip.

  3. mgscott - Dec 16, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    This guy is a stud. Sucks for Tigers fans.

    • proudlycanadian - Dec 16, 2011 at 3:08 PM

      One of the best names in baseball.

      • proudlycanadian - Dec 16, 2011 at 4:41 PM

        He can also boast about being screwed.

  4. SmackSaw - Dec 16, 2011 at 3:04 PM

    Al Alburquerque…what a great freakin’ name.

  5. silverdeer - Dec 16, 2011 at 3:17 PM

    My only question is why did they wait for two months after the season ended to do surgery? Did it take that long to determine that the bone was broken? Would have thought that a MRI could have determined that in short order.

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