While the injury sustained by Detroit Tigers rookie Al Alburquerque last night was horrific and serious, the simple fact is that baseball life must move forward. While Alburquerque recovers, the Tigers have called upon right hander Ryan Perry to replace their rookie in the bullpen.
Perry began the year in Detroit, but was demoted to Triple-A Toledo due to ineffectiveness. Since his demotion, Perry was worked in 20 games for the Mud Hens, only five fewer minor league games than he had worked in his entire professional career coming into this season. He has responded well, walking nine batters in 32.2 innings while posting a 3.03 ERA, 1.010 WHIP and recording 30 strikeouts.
In 20 games with the Tigers this year (22.2 innings), Perry had an ERA of 6.85 with 13 walks versus 16 strikeouts. Clearly, the Tigers are hoping that his time in Toledo has allowed for some adjustments to be made. If he can bring his Triple-A success with him to the Tigers, the club won’t see a significant drop-off in productivity from what Alburquerque has done to what Perry will do.
The interesting thing here is that Alburquerque’s injury, while terrible, presented the Tigers with an opportunity to add a player to the roster. With Victor Martinez unable to catch due to a sore knee, Alex Avila has had to pull a lot of innings behind the dish of late. The club could have chosen to bring up catcher Omir Santos for a few days as an insurance policy for Avila, but instead opted for Perry.
This is good news, I’d think, if you are in the camp that is growing loud about Avila wearing down and being overworked. I’m guessing that if Martinez wasn’t viewed as being able to catch soon, it would have been Santos, not Perry, that was recalled. Unless the Tigers have an additional move planned, I’d bet that you’ll see Martinez behind the dish either today or tomorrow.