Albers stating his case?
Brad Bergesen will be activated to start Saturday’s game, meaning reliever Matt Albers’ days could be numbered. In 13 games, Albers has pitched his way to a 6.75 ERA –the worst mark of any active Orioles reliever – but he has strung together some solid outings as of late.
Albers tossed 2 1/3 scoreless innings in two games against the Yankees and retired all three batters he faced in Friday’s win.
Albers who is out of options, knows the situation and said he’s not going out on the mound with the mindset that he has something to prove.
“I just go out there and try to be successful and help the team win,” Albers said. “That’s really the approach I have to take, instead of trying to worry about what other people think. Obviously if I go out there and I pitch well, that obviously looks good.”
Manager Dave Trembley said Albers’ ball has more sink to it and his improved command has helped get him back on track. Albers suffered both losses in Boston last weekend, allowing four earned runs and recording just one out in that stretch.
“I almost tried to do too much, instead of just making my pitches and let my ball sink a little bit,” Albers said of his past struggles.
He has also talked with pitching coach Rick Kranitz about relying more on his breaking balls early in the count, which has helped keep hitters off balance and led to improved control.
“He wants the ball and he threw a sinker tonight with the exception of the 3-1 pitch to [Darnell] McDonald that was foul, he had movement,” Trembley said.
“And his command has been better. A lot less three-ball counts, a lot more strike ones.”
Has the team seen enough out of Albers to keep him and get rid of someone else? Reliever Cla Meredith would likely be the next to go, since he’s been used solely in one-out situations and still has options remaining. The team could also opt to take a position player off the 25-man roster, such as Julio Lugol, but given the Orioles’ limited depth that’s a long shot.
The decision will be made soon enough, seeing as though Bergesen will be activated for Saturday’s game.