It's the middle of the offseason, not the time you'd expect baseball injuries and subsequent surgeries to suddenly crop up. But that's exactly what happened to Detroit Tigers reliever Al Alburquerque, just nine days before Christmas:
Knobler tweeted further details:
Alburquerque pitched quite well overall for the Tigers in 2011, his first major league season, posting a 1.87 ERA and 1.154 WHIP in 41 appearances covering 43⅓ innings. He got hit pretty hard by the Yankees in the ALDS between the two teams, and perhaps in retrospect we can see that his injury might have occurred at that time.
Did you know that the spelling of the Tigers pitcher's surname is the way the city in New Mexico should be spelled? The city of Albuquerque was named after its founder Don Francisco Fernandez de la Cueva Enriquez, the eighth Duke of Alburquerque, who granted land to 100 Spanish families on the site in 1660 (and who has a spectacular mustache). If you have ever wondered why the first "r" was dropped in the city name; this article claims:
The first "r" in "Alburquerque" was dropped at some point in the 19th century, supposedly by an Anglo-American railroad station-master unable to correctly pronounce the city's name.
None of this has anything to do with the Tigers pitcher, who is from one of the modern cradles of baseball, San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic, approximately 2400 miles from New Mexico (and 1772 miles from Detroit). But it's December, and I'm bored, and thought you'd like a little bit of historical trivia.
If you're looking for more baseball-type analysis and the Tigers fan point of view instead, our Tigers blog Bless You Boys has some more details (and nothing at all about New Mexico).