Late Friday it was announced that Gwinnett starter Andrew Albers was traded by the Braves to the Seattle Mariners for “cash considerations”. I had this “Get To Know a Call-Up” in the can for him since June to be ready in the event of a call-up, but I hate to let words go to waste, so with some slight modifications, I present the first (and probably the last) installment of a new series, Get To Know a Guy Just Traded Away.
Andrew Albers, LHP
2017 Opening Day Assignment: AAA Gwinnett
2.61 ERA, 2.57 FIP
26 G, 17 GS
Andrew Albers is a minor league veteran who has gotten a taste of the major leagues the last two seasons with Toronto and Minnesota respectively. Albers has one of the more colorful baseball careers you’ll see as he’s gone from:
- Growing up in Saskatchewan
- to pitching for the University of Kentucky
- to being drafted in the 10th round of the 2008 draft by San Diego
- to needing Tommy John surgery after his first five pro games
- to being released by the Padres
- to playing for Quebec in the independent Canadian-American Association
- to being signed by the Twins
- to being named Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2012
- to getting called up in 2013 with the Twins and pitching 60 big league innings, including a complete game shutout
- to pitching in Korea in 2014
- to coming back to North America in 2015 and signing with Toronto
- to getting a call-up with the Blue Jays
- to signing back with the Twins in 2016
- to making it back to the majors for 17 more innings in 2016, including 2 starts
- to pitching for Canada in the World Baseball Classic
to making it back to the majors in 2017 for Atlantato being traded to the Mariners for cash considerations.
Albers has pitched as a swingman for AAA Gwinnett with 120.2 mostly successful innings, and had been a source of stability as the rotation lost Sean Newcomb and Lucas Sims to the majors and Matt Wisler to the bullpen.
Albers is a classic soft-tossing lefty, relying on his sinking fastball and slider to induce weak contact. The sinker will come in in the mid-80’s, and Albers throws it almost two-thirds of the time. Albers complements it with a slider that runs away from left-handed hitters and a change-up that he uses exclusively against right-handers. He throws everything with solid control, but doesn’t get the amount of groundballs one would expect with his repertoire.
This is likely just an emergency start for Albers, but this call-up puts him on the Braves 40-man roster, which makes him a candidate for more fill-in work in the future. If Albers does factor into the Braves major league roster in the future, it could also be in the bullpen where the lefty duo of Ian Krol, and Sam Freeman don’t really represent an impenetrable wall of aptitude.