Alberto Jose Alburquerque
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 195 lb.
Al Alburquerque pitched seven seasons in the big leagues.
Signed by scout Jose Serra, Alburquerque began his professional career in 2004 with the DSL Cubs, then missed all of 2005 with injury. In 2006, he was with the AZL Cubs, going 0-2 with a 5.98 ERA in eight games (five starts). He also had 15 strikeouts but 10 walks in 12 2/3 innings. In 2007, he played for the Boise Hawks and Peoria Chiefs, going a combined 4-6 with a 5.83 ERA in 21 games (10 starts). In 66 1/3 innings, he struck out 69 batters. Due to another injury, he lost another full campaign in 2008. Alburquerque began the 2009 season in the Cubs system with the Daytona Cubs, going 1-0 with two saves and a 2.08 ERA. He was traded to the Colorado Rockies during the season as a player to be named later in a deal that sent Jeff Baker to Chicago. He finished the season with the Tulsa Drillers (1-3, 3.76). Overall, he went 2-3 with a 2.80 ERA in 47 relief appearances, striking out 75 batters in 61 innings. He pitched for Tulsa again in 2010, going 2-4 with 3 saves and a 4.98 ERA in 25 relief appearances.
Following the 2010 season, he became a free agent and signed a contract with the Detroit Tigers. He began the year with the Toledo Mud Hens, fanning eight in four shutout innings. He was then called up to the majors to replace Robbie Weinhardt. He made his major league debut on April 15, pitching two scoreless innings in relief against the Oakland Athletics with the Tigers trailing 1-0. Detroit managed to tie the score in the 9th, and won the game 8-4 after a wild 10th inning, handing manager Jim Leyland his 1,500th career win. Overall, he had a solid rookie year for the Division-winning Tigers, pitching in 41 games with an ERA of 1.87 and a record of 6-1; he struck out 67 in only 43 1/3 innings. He was roughed up by the New York Yankees in two appearances in the ALDS, giving up 3 runs in a third of an inning, but he did better in the ALCS against the Texas Rangers, when he gave up no hits and struck out two opponents in an inning and two thirds. He was bothered by occasional discomfort in his right elbow throughout the season, spending time on the disabled list with inflammation at one point. In December 2011, Dr. James Andrews performed surgery for a stress fracture, putting him out of action until September 2012. He sparkled in limited big league time, with a 0.68 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings. He made three postseason appearances that year, allowing the third of Pablo Sandoval's home runs in Game 1 of the 2012 World Series.
Al spent three more years in the Tigers bullpen (2013-2015), enjoying his finest success in 2014 with a 2.63 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 57 1/3 innings. Following a tougher 2015 campaign, he was non-tendered and signed a big league deal with the Los Angeles Angels. Since 2016, he has appeared in just 23 big league games, split among the Halos, Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox.